When I signed up for NorthCoast 24 in 2014, it was a "What the heck am I doing?" kind of moment. It sounded fun (as much as running is ever fun for me), and I thought, why not. Bucket list kind of thing, right?
Afterwards I quit running entirely and just kind of blah-ed out. . . but then I signed up for NorthCoast 24 in 2015. Because, hey, glutton for punishment. And then after that, I . . . yup, quit running. So for the past 2 + years, I haven't really been running. I stopped considering myself a runner. I gave away a bunch of my running clothes, and I put on weight. Any semblance of "athlete" that I might have had was washed away. I let it go.
Last week, while at my son's Taekwondo studio, the challenge was put to me to join a class. Try Taekwondo, me? I attempted to protest.
Me: "I'm out of shape."
Instructor: "Isn't that the whole point of exercise? To get in shape?"
So later that night I put on sweat pants and lined up with a bunch of kids (oh, did I mention that only 1 other adult is signed up, and the rest are kids?) and went through the motions. Kicking, running, sit ups, push ups, kickboxing... It was, honestly, exhilarating. Embarrassing, too, at times, because I'm hyper self-conscious, and no longer had the anonymity of running alone on a trail. But after 50 minutes, I bowed off the mats, and felt pretty good about myself.
I am by no means "good" at it. I flail around a bit, and in last night's class, I actually hurt my foot by kicking wrong. I'm only three classes in, though. I will improve eventually. Or I'll break myself. Either way, I will have gotten off the couch - again - and tried something that my younger self would never have tried. The closer I get to 40, the stranger life gets.
I kind of like it.