Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A is for Anniston Runner's Club [A-Z Blog Challenge]

Anniston Runner's Club

When I was a kid, running was not something I enjoyed, especially in the context of Physical Education.  I love a T-shirt I saw that said "Calm down, Bro.  It's P.E. not the Olympics."  Now look, I understand about sports and competition, but seriously, PE should be a fun time of learning, not a chance to be further embarrassed in front of your peers.  Running was the worst portion of the yearly physical fitness test I had to endure.  Our class was only about an hour long and it took me nearly that long just to walk a mile.  

In my early 20's, the closer I got to 300 pounds, the less I wanted to walk, much less run.  In my 30's, I worked on trying to stay well, so running wasn't even on the meter.  I'd always wanted to run.  The fluid motion of arms and legs pumping, the sweat glistening off a well toned body, and the "runners high" was appealing, but to me, seemingly unattainable.

Now, in my EARLY 40's, along comes the Anniston Runner's Club (ARC).  Well, actually one of their members, Lori T, drew me into running.  Last year, Lori put on a free "couch to 5k" clinic for new runners.  Lori, a sweet lady in her mid 50's who's run tons of 5k's and several half and full marathons, encouraged me through a running pace slower than a Paw-Paw with a plastic hip, frequent emergency potty stops, and my left leg feeling like I'd been shot from behind with a nail gun.  No matter what, she just kept lapping me and saying, "You're doing great.  Don't stop."  After finishing my first 5k, I was hooked, Paw-Paw pace and all.  I figured that if half the people in ARC were as encouraging as Lori, this will be a good club to be involved with.

Since I joined ARC late last year, I've have longed to be a better runner.  Although I don't have any medals, trophies, or bobble heads to display yet, I am proud of what I have accomplished and look forward to greater things.  The races I've run only motivate me to want to get stronger, faster, and leaner.

So what has this to do with recovery?  Part of my arsenal for dealing with food addiction is physical exercise.  Walking and running are simple exercises that don't require a lot of equipment or complicated instructions.  The encouraging nature of ARC helps me to keep choosing to do the next right thing.  Celebrate Recovery Principle 8 says "Yield myself to God to be used to bring this good news to others, both by my example and by my words."  I see how the presence of certain ARC members benefits others.  For example, there is a 90 year old gentleman named Mr. Smallwood who is still running 5k's and loving it.  I hope to remain in the group so that someday I can encourage someone else to just keep running.

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