My Gift of Running

I was always going to get back into running, I just didn’t know it. Then it happened. My kid’s school had a 5k as a fundraiser and my 8 year old daughter Olivia was all over it, leading a playground training group at recess and all. I had no choice but to run. My expectations were lower than low. Yea, I worked out religiously, in the pool or on the bike,  but I had not run since college, when I ran a relatively sad 800, and that was eons ago. I ran with my non runner, Jack, while Olivia, the runner, was running with a friend. Jack struggled and complained, but we finished the 5k. I talked him, and myself, through the race and somwhere along the route, I decided that I wanted to run again.

Running was religion in my family. It was a requirement. All the Samuell kids ran. Period. I am the youngest of 6 kids and a few state track records and titles
preceded me.  My brother held a hurdle
record that was broken 30 years later – by my nephew. Running was what we did, but I hated it. I realized that the family gift, which was never really given to me, belongs to Olivia. And she loves it. She runs like a gazelle, with a big smile on her face, chatting as goes. According to Olivia, soccer and swimming are her “hobbies” and running is her “life.” Well, thanks to a little 5k fundraiser at Margaret Chase Smith School, I am running with her.

I am loving every mile I log, whether it is on the treadmill, on the road or on a trail. I am mentally much tougher as a 37 year old than I was as a college runner. I used to hate the time alone in my head that was inevitable on the long runs. Now I cherish that time. It is MY time. No husband, no boss, no barking dogs, just me, my thoughts and some Dave Grohl when necessary. I think a lot about my dad and know that somewhere, he is smiling, knowing that, after l these years, I finally have found the love of running and I share it with Olivia. It is a gift.

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