So I thought I should tell a little tale about how I developed my deep love for running. My younger sister started running cross country when she was in middle school and was and still is a wicked fast little runner. Sooo, she inspired me and I decided to join the cross country team my junior year of high school. Practices began in late July and August before the school year to get our fast pants going. For anyone who hasn't been in Indiana, where I am from originally, in July and August the humidity can be somewhat of a bear. It is at times similar to being trapped in a small laundry room with the dryer vent unattached from the wall with the dryer running. Any who, so I go to all of the practices and am really diggin' on running. After being only a swimmer for six years, it was exciting to have a new passion. School starts and it's time for our first meet, which was an invitational that four schools were invited to including ours. I'm stoked, the race begins and I'm out on the course noticing that I am quite alone, but I'm no concerns. My mom comes to see me at my first race and happens to get there late. So, there are runners already coming into the finish. She is looking and looking for me, but to no avail. People are milling about and actually kind of spreading away from the finish line as if things are done and the announcer comes over the the amp saying "Attention everyone, if you could please stay where you are we still have one more runner on the course." My mom thinks, no way I've just missed her. As I come running up the the final hill it's like something out of the movie Rocky people cheering and clapping on both sides, you'd think I'd just run some major race. Then the announcer comes on the amp again and says "You can do it, great job! Keep it up!" I finished and was damn proud, even though I was by far the slowest runner out there. One of my friends that ran the race as well obtained the nickname "Chuck" that race and you can imagine why. SO, I was just stoked to not have been made fun of in a name. I came in last place in numerous other races at the beginning of that season, but nothing quite that spectacular. Something strange began to happen as the season progressed and I wasn't coming in last anymore. This photo was taken at regionals where I totally cruised by multiple folks and kicked some ace and took some names. At the end of that season, we had a dinner with the team to celebrate and the coach presented books of clippings, ribbons, etc. to each of us. When he called my name, he chuckled and said that he had to admit that he swore up and down that I would quit after three days of practice, but I perservered and there I was at the end of season banquet. I am still a slow runner and have come to terms with the fact that I probably always will be, but the fact is I LOVE to run and I am thankful each day that I have these big legs to carry me through each dirt road and trail that I find. It is my therapy, sun-soaking, contemplation and getting the rage out time. I just can't imagine what a state I would be in if I never would have started running!?! So, here's to all of the runner's out there slow or fast it's how much your heart is into it!
These other photos are just of a beautiful sunset and a frosty tree because I don't have a good running photo for today.