Runner’s High

by Melissa Luna Celestial

Yes, I’m a running newbie. I have been working for the same company for more than a decade writing letters, reports and what-have-yous, and I mostly sit in my chair all day. I’ve reached that point when I desperately needed to find a way revive passion in what I do. I needed a hobby, one which will hopefully give me time to clear the mental block that had seemed to comfortably settle in me. Plus, after two kids and the noticeably greater effort to I exert to fit into my favourite jeans, I
decided that a little bit of physical activity will help balance me out.

I discovered running three months ago while on a work-related trip. I woke up very early one morning and thought I’d go for a walk on the beach. So I donned my sneakers and started walking on the beach. After about 5 minutes, I felt I needed to up my scale so I started jogging, then running. Three minutes later I felt sore and out of breath, but invigorated and excited to face another work day. It was the most wonderful feeling. It was love at first run.

From then on I run 3-4 times a week. First ten, then twenty, then thirty minutes, pretty slow and full of walking breaks at first. It wasn’t easy, but I successfully dealt with side stitch and breathlessness, and the dogs that sometimes run after me to (probably) bite. But for someone who hasn’t run ever
in her life, I felt fairly proud about myself. Not just because I’ve finally taken the road to fitness and better health, but more so, because running has given me that liberating feeling, that precious “me time” I had craved for a long time. It definitely helps clear my mind of unnecessary worries.

I’m 37 and compared to other younger runners, I’m slow, but I could at least feel great that I’m in good shape to run at least four days a week, 30 minutes each run. On weekends I could run for about an hour and not feel sore anymore.

As a non-athlete, I know I’ll never be fast enough so it’s never my goal to win a marathon. But I recently joined a fun run with some friends and we had a great laugh while moving at our own leisurely pace through the 5k goal. I’ll never forget that heady sense of accomplishment, knowing that a few months ago I would have fainted after about a quarter of a kilometre. Yes, really.

So I’ll just stick to my modest goal: NOT TO QUIT running. I go out each time to run, to a better, fitter me.