Well i think that we have all heard the saying, "An idle mind is the Devil's playground" but i have recently come to realize that this also applies to idle feet. I have just returned from a quick little 3 mile run. I am in the process of once again making running a focal point in my life. I remember back in high school, although classes were hard and the social pressure was at it's height, i always found peace within myself during the late summer and fall. It was not the pleasant change in weather that took my mind off of the stress and pressure, but it was the escape i found while i was running with my closest friends.
I joined cross country my freshman year in high school thinking it was a great way to get in shape for baseball; little did i know it was gettingme ingreat shape for life. I showed up the first week of school hoping that the coaches would let me join the team even though i was not there for "hell week." Mike Brown allowed me to join but jokingly said "I can see this one is going to give us a lot of trouble." I quickly discovered that it took a different kind of person to go out and run long distances and actually... enjoy it. As my legs got stronger and my lung capacity increased I too began to find joy in running. I would join in with the other runners as we ran down the canal talking and even singing at times (you can imagine how good we sounded). I ran through all four years of high school and loved the feeling that the team and running brought me.
After i graduated i slowly lost contact with some friends and began to get ready to serve a 2 year mission for my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the "Mormons" as many of you know us. The service and sacrifices i offered over those two years changed my life in many ways; i found out who i was and where i was going in life and i wanted others to feel the same way. After returning home in October of 2010, i then began preparing for school at Brigham Young University in Idaho. It was during these two months or so of preparation that i realized that one of the friends i had lost contact with was running. I began running a few times a week but never exceeding more than 7 or 8 miles. As school came around I continued running and going to the gym. I felt great and i was in great health, i always had energy to make it another day and all of this reflected in my grades. After that semester I picked up a job answering phones for a company here in town. This took away my day from 10-7 which were the hours i normally liked to run.
One saturday in May i was having a particularly rough day between a rough week at work and relationship issues. It was a nice sunny day, which was rare here Rexburg, so i laced up my shoes and started running. I had my usual 6 mile run that i liked and i set out. When it came to the 3 mile marker i had a choice to either take a right and finish up the 6 miles or i could take a left and keep running, so naturally i went left. After running out to an old mill i decided to turn around and come back. I was feeling great and i didn't have a care in the world except for the pavement under my feet; ironically it was the care i needed to be paying attention to. At mile 12, my knees decided that they didn't like that constant pounding and the pain became more than i wanted to deal with. After walking the last mile and a half with bruised knees i began to wonder if running was for me anymore.
I took it easy of the coming months and even the next semester never running more than a mile or so at a time. In September i ordered a pair of Vibram FiveFinger shoes, hearing that they were good for joints i wanted to give them a try. For those of you who don't know what they are, well they are the funny looking shoes i have on the the following picture.
I soon began running here and there trying to break my feet into their new found freedom. My knees were doing great! I once again let school and work get the best of me and running soon lost its priority in my life.
After a high stress semester and sub-par grades i decided i wanted that feeling i had back in high school and the previous semester. For Christmas i received the book Born To Run by Christopher McDougall, and not being a reader i was thinking to read it slowly over the semester. Well a long story short, i read it in two days and it reminded me why i found such an escape in running. I am once again making running a focus in my life and plan to run the Teton Dam marathon this June here in Rexburg.
This will not only be a record of my running and training but it will also be stories of a college kid trying to work his way through school with all the troubles and great times that it brings.
Here goes nothing...