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Purposeful Running- Terzah’s story

Posted Feb 05 2012 9:54am

I’m excited to feature Terzah for the second purposeful running story.  I was lucky to meet Terzah over the Houston marathon weekend .  Her energy and wit are obvious in her writing, and she is just as entertaining in person!  You can follow her journey at .  This post was also featured earlier in the year on Another Mother Runner, and it’s a great example of the many motivating factors to run.

If you missed my original post, I want to share your purposeful running stories this year… reasons you run beyond physical fitness.  What additional benefits got you hooked on running, or have you discovered along the way? I’ll share a guest post every other Sunday. Thanks for participating!

Here’s Terzah!

Confessions of a Cross-Country Drop-Out

I remember the time trial well. I was 14 years old. My acne would soon clear up. My pudginess would melt away thanks to a four-inch growth spurt. My Orphan-Annie perm would grow out. I had it in me to run three miles fast. But I didn’t know any of that. All I knew was I felt trapped. I wasn’t as fast as the other girls. I was nowhere near as physically confident as they all seemed to be. The hot, humid September day of that time trial, I wanted to go back to my books, to my room hung with posters of unicorns, to my air-conditioned Smart-Not-Athletic-Girl hidey-hole. But here I was. The coach said, “Go.” Everyone took off at a pace that left me far behind. A clod of earth was the perfect tool. I tripped over it with great drama, feigned a knee injury, and for the rest of the season acted as the team’s lackluster “manager.” I did not go out for cross country again.

These days, 24 years older almost to the day of that time trial, I have 4.5-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. They exude a strident, but unpretentious, confidence I would make last forever if I had real Mommy superpowers. I never want either of them to feel as I did that day.

I entered my first race, a 10K, at age 22. For a long time, running was about my own transformation from quitter to striver. I’ve never needed to lose lots of weight. I’ve never had illusions of being able to cruise with the cheetahs.

I’ve thankfully had no disease to overcome. But as a Recovering Quitter, I’ve needed to prove to myself I can run, and run well beyond what I once thought my limits were.I know I can’t save my kids from adolescence or from failing. Every teenager feels ugly and inadequate. And every human being fails at something sometime. The key is to get back up, as soon as you can, and redeem yourself. Every day I run I do that time trial over again.

Someday I will tell my kids this story.

It has this ending: Every run is redemption.

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