I’ve called myself a ‘runner’ for 40 years – And in many ways running, along with the important people and core values I hold near and dear, serves to define this self I call “me”. It’s just part of who I am.
I ran my first race when I was 8 years old. This was back in the days of gray sweats and Keds tennis sneakers. This was several years before Title IX passed. My parents took me and my 13 year-old sister to the track at a private boys Catholic high school not too far from our house in suburban New Jersey. I cannot recall what sort of event this was. All I knew was that I was there to run. There were lots of other kids there milling about. I remember noticing that my sister and I were the only girls actually running. Other girls were there, but I never actually saw any others run. The girls sat on the bleachers with their parents watching their brothers race around the oval. We lined up straight across the track, one girl, and five boys. I had never actually run around a track before, but I had run around my block many, many times, and I imagined that it would be much like that. The starters gun fired, pop, and feet, knees and elbows flew. I remember moving my legs and feet as fast as I could possibly make them go. As we rounded the final turn I experienced for the first time the feeling you have when you push your legs to a point where you can no longer feel, nor control, them. When you make such an effort that your legs just sort of leave you – and you are your legs – they are no longer just part of you. I came in last, though it was close. That was it. I became a runner that day. Read more >>