One of my favorite memories growing up was waking up at 6:00 a.m on a Saturday morning and going for a jog with my dad. Our home in the Philippines was very close to the ocean, so that was where we would go. If we get there early enough, we would catch the fishing boats coming in. My dad knew some of the fishermen, so we were able to buy the fresh catch. Breakfast! During these jogs as i start complaining about how tired I am, my dad would tell me stories about his childhood. This is one that stands out in my memory: My dad grew up in the Philippines during the tail end of the second world war. The Japanese were slowly leaving their posts, with a few stragglers still hanging around the provinces. His older sister and himself would run errands for their mom delivering fish sauce, which my grandmother made, to neighboring towns.The trips they would take were about 5 or 10k one way. They of course had a healthy fear of Japanese soldiers. So when they see one they would start running. My dad was around 8 or 9 years old during that time. Sometimes, a kind soldier would give them water. I wish I could still ask him about those days, unfortunately he passed away 20 years ago.
So you would think that with that running history, I would be a natural runner. Ha! When I was in community college, I had to sign up for a a PE class. I chose BEGINNING JOGGING. Sounds easy enough, right? I thought I was in decent shape: 118 lbs, gym once or twice a week working with weights and aerobics videos at home. The first day of class, I could not complete a lap. It was more than pathetic than it sounds. I thought I was going to die. The teacher told me I will not pass the class if I could not run a mile. Walking was not acceptable. The second week, I switched classes. Weightlifting was easier. I continued to hit the gym, hop on the treadmill for a few minutes then lift weights. i would joke that running is not my thing, outside is bad. A/C is good.
Fast forward to 2011. We got our Twinkie girl. This yellow lab was a hyperactive beast. She never walked, only ran. She jumped, nipped and ran. A friend observed that when I am walking Twinkie, I look like I was on water skis being pulled by a very fast boat. One summer morning, I was out with Twinkie (a.k.a Bootcamp) trying to keep up with her, when she spotted a cat. Cat was too hard to resist, so Twinkie made a dash for it, which led my face to have close contact with the sidewalk. As soon as I recovered from that nasty fall I decided to start running.
On the treadmill at first, (it was summer after all) then gradually outside minus the dog. I started running while the boys were at soccer practice, I actually started to enjoy it. Once I felt strong enough, I took the dog with me. Someone suggested I download an app to track my miles. My question was ” you can do that?” On my birthday, in February of 2012, I took the dog out and we just started running. I was feeling good, she was behaving. When we got home, people were waiting for us so we can celebrate my birthday. I checked my phone and was pleasantly surprised when I read Five miles! I felt incredible, I felt strong and I felt amazing! I think that was the moment I fell in love-with running. Unfortunately, I do not have pictures of my early running days (I did not know it was a thing. Ha!)
Anyway, I’ve rambled on long enough. I will continue this history lesson on my next post!