I run effortlessly, the wind cooling my face and blowing my ponytail playfully behind me. My legs never tire as my feet pound the ground beneath me. A sense of freedom and adventure come over me as I realize I could do this for hours.
In my dreams that is.
For as long as I can remember I’ve had dreams of running. Running along roads illuminated by streetlights at dusk and the middle of the night with nobody else around. Running up and down paths in the woods with only the trees to keep me company. The dreams can be so realistic that I often spend the couple of minutes right after waking up wondering if this is indeed something I do in real life. The running I do in my dreams requires no effort, my breathing never gets hard, my muscles never ache and demand me to slow down, and nary a drop of sweat glistens on my brow.
The reality, it turns out, is a tiny bit different.
Today, many months after I had planned on starting, I took my first tentative steps to running in my actual, real life. Me. Running. Outside. For more than the few seconds it takes to catch a bus or cross a street.
I put on my running shoes, started up the Couch to 5K program and hoped for the best.
And it was pretty alright.
My running pants, with what I like to think of as racing stripes.
I only ran for a total of 8 minutes during the 30 or so minutes I was out there but it didn’t feel as bad as I feared it would. It actually felt kind of good. Weird, I know.