You know some some people who are long distance runners but played every other sport in high school too? Give them a ball, a bat, a racket, or a freaking stick and they will MacGyver the bajeezus out of any sport?
Yeah that's not me.
Here's my story:
I remember my last day of school in 7th grade like it was uhhh...16 years ago: A tiny girl named Katrina who was in my gym class signed my yearbook.
"Margot...we might suck at sports but that's ok. - Katrina"
Wait What? Suck at sports? Honestly, I was a little bummed. This wasn't how I envisioned my middle school legacy. I could see my end of the year school award right then. Crowds cheering as I received "Most likely to not succeed at sports".
I thought back to our volleyball unit earlier in the year. How I literally never got the ball over the net, even in a serve, through the ENTIRE UNIT. How my coolness level probably plummeted to a new low during that sport from the underworld.
And honestly, most of the other "ball sports" were similarly challenging for me. Soccer wasn't as bad. What I lacked in skill, I gained in aggression!
However, like the stubborn girl I am, I figured, eh....surely I'll get on some team in high school. So I tried out for JV field hockey.
And I made varsity!!!
Hah. Just kidding. I didn't make the team.
Instead, I started running. 2 miles a day in my spare time. Mostly just because I wanted to be skinny since I was a vain and insecure 15 year old. About a month later, we ran the mile in the fall of my freshman year. I ran it in 7:11 with almost no effort. Not that this is anything that special, but I was surprised at myself. My mom told me if I was going to run on my own time, I might as well join the cross country team. I told her "Are you crazy? Those girls run like four miles a day! No way!".
And then, I took her advice. I joined the track team. I figured...we'll probably just race the mile every day... and that could be cool, right?
On the first Friday of practice, it was raining. I saw my coach after school and asked if practice was cancelled. I still remember the look of confusion and disdain on his face when he answered "No. Why would it be cancelled? We run in the rain."
I think that's the moment I became a real runner.
One that runs in rainstorms and snow. Who has become addicted to the feeling of intense discomfort at the end of a race and nervous butterflies before.
I ran every season after that in high school. I was nothing spectacular, but I loved it and got a couple letters. And no one wrote that I sucked at sports in my yearbook!
Since then running has come in and out of my life in various waves of seriousness. I've never stopped completely, but developed a talent for running while hungover in my early twenties.
And yeah. I love it. Every run isn't great, but the overall result is awesome.
Three marathons, a billion halves, and one running-ish blog later, here I am. I could go on and on about what running has done for me, but let's just say it's a ton :).
I'll leave you with this anecdote:
Last Fall, I went frisbee golfing. My boyfriend remarked that I would probably be good since I was "athletic". I held back the laughter at this remark and promptly got my butt kicked by everyone playing.
But that's ok because if we played a game on my field, I know I'd smoke these fools in a race.
And I probably wouldn't even have to trip them.