Training Brings Me Back

23 Feb

I remember that in my younger days I used to avoid running and hated training for sports. I wanted to play, sure, but the drills and exercises were not exactly a part of the actual game, which just bored me. But now that I’m running with the Nike Running Team on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I find myself loving the workout and drills. What makes it even stranger is that there really isn’t even a game day in mind. While I can sign up for a race on my own, the idea is merely to become a better runner and get in better shape.

The majority of the class is older—somewhere in their mid 30s to mid 40s—though they hide it well by running alongside the younger kids as well. I would imagine that most of them have been running all of their lives, so it’s not much of a surprise that they aren’t fazed by some drills, but it seems like every time the coach tells us what we’re going to be doing, a collective groan develops in the ranks. It’s as if we’re in a mandatory gym class and the kids just want to play hoops.

Personally, at least in the beginning stages with the class, I look forward to it. It’s a chance to get professional advice on how to improve my workout and in a social setting, though I haven’t been socializing too much yet, anyway. It’s like I’m looking for that drill sergeant to yell at me to run faster and push myself harder, to do it this way and again. I want to get better. A challenge is good and I want to feel the burn which tells me it’s working.

It reminds me of when I briefly played pee wee football and hated the coach. They were always on me to run faster or do more push ups, and though I hated them for it (and eventually quit as a result) it did help me get in better shape, and if I had followed through with it, I might have seen some real improvements.

We train at night and since it’s summer, all I can think of is football practice and playing sports at summer camp until the sun went down. We would run around sweaty and tired but content, knowing that a shower and dinner were waiting for us. I don’t have quite as much closure now, as I need to quickly prepare dinner before class, then come back to shower, eat and soon after go to bed. Yet it’s a feeling like I’ve gotten something back in my life which I haven’t had for a while, a competitive edge driven by nothing more than the want to improve and succeed. I don’t mind training season anymore.

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