Last week the movie Forrest Gump played each night on one of our cable stations. They very popular film just happens to be one on my husband’s favorites. Mine too. There’s a part in the film when Forrest decides to start running. He runs and he runs and then he runs some more just because he “felt like runnin’.” 

Ironically, I did too.

I’ve never been a runner. I was pretty fast during my track days. I ran sprints; the 100 and 200 meter dash – but that was about it. A sprinter and runner are two very different things.

But last week, I became a very beginning runner. 

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It’s been on my mind for a while. I have a gym membership, but I don’t go very often. There’s always something that comes up. Work, kids, activities; I’m the queen of excuses. My lack of exercise has caught up with me. Thankfully, my pants still fit – but I’m sluggish. I sit in front of this computer all day and at night I feel like one of those slugs. Tired, lazy and oozing with slime.

My Cocoa Puff addiction doesn’t help my cause, either. 

My husband and I talked and decided to change our routine. We want to be fit. We want our family to be fit. We dusted off our running shoes and hit the pavement.

Almost literally.

My first run in years was painful and I nearly tripped several times on my own feet. Unique words came into my mind after 10 minutes and then my sides began to ache. Do you know that feeling? It’s not awesome.

As I wrapped up mile one, I was frothing at the mouth and my feet felt like bricks. I’m fairly certain I sounded that two Clydesdales parading down an old brick street.

It wasn’t pretty, but I finished. We finished, together. 

My sister says it’s a mind game – this whole running thing. She’s about to run a half marathon in a few weeks. “Just tell yourself you can do it,” she says. My brain, unfortunately, has been saying this. “Leslie, you are ridiculous. Why are you running? Get back there on that cozy couch, with your Cocoa Puffs and comfy sweat pants and watch Forrest run from the comfort of your TV.”

I’m working on those positive thoughts. 

 I’m now on run 5. Not much, but it’s a pretty big accomplishment for me. I haven’t been on a workout routine like this in a long time. I’m still just about the ugliest runner you’ll find on the trails and a fast walker could likely out pace me, but I’m there. I’m running. And you can, too! Maybe we should do this together?

I don’t know how far I’ll go. I’m not even positive this routine will stick. But for now, I just feel like runnin’, and it feels pretty darn good.

Leslie Means

Leslie is the founder and owner of Her View From She is also a former news anchor, published children’s book author, weekly columnist, and has several published short stories as well. She is married to a very patient man. Together they have three fantastic kids.  When she’s not sharing too much personal information online and in the newspaper – you’ll find Leslie somewhere in Nebraska hanging out with family and friends. There’s also a 75% chance at any given time, you’ll spot her in the aisles at Target.