Since I am injured and unable to run (luckily I can still swim and bike without any pain), I started to think about what my life would be like if I had never decided to try Couch-to-5K back in April 2011. (It still amazes me that all of this started with Week 1, Day 1 of C25K, which is alternating 60 seconds of running and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes. Crazy).
So, what would my life be like?
Well, I wouldn't have any of the friends that I have now. My core group of friends was starting to change right before we started running so I doubt I would still be friends with any of those people, but maybe. Running (and blogging as a result) has brought so many people into my life including Amber, Greg, Crystal and our #trailsroc friends to name a few.
These are the people I lean on the most when times are tough, and if we never took that first step toward becoming runners I probably wouldn't know any of them. (And if I didn't live dangerously and meet strangers I met on DailyMile and Twitter, I wouldn't have any of my best friends in my life).
My precious hood
I would probably have a second Masters degree. Before running, school was my "addiction" (luckily as someone who works at a university I can still continue my lifelong learning, but in a different capacity). I am still currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice Masters program, but I think this is the last year I have before I would have to reapply to the program if I don't take any classes.
While I was "healthy" when we started C25K and losing weight was not even a factor in that decision, I'm not sure if I would have remained that way if we didn't start running. I had been in a continuous cycle of gaining weight and losing weight for a few years and who knows what I would be doing right now if I wasn't a triathlete. I didn't enjoy swimming, just to swim, as much as I did growing up and going to the gym didn't appeal to me so I probably would still be in that horribly unhealthy "yo-yo" cycle.
And I can tell you this right now, I wouldn't be as happy. While I am not always a "peppy" person, running has brought so much joy into my life. I have been able to travel to places that I might not have otherwise, including to meet those friends mentioned previously.
How many people can say that they have experienced different cities on their feet? Or run a 200 mile overnight relay with mostly strangers who become wonderful friends after? Or run two races in one day? Or raced a Half Ironman in 90 degree weather? Or run up mountains with friends and then gone kayaking after, even though you can barely walk? Or had to use a rope during a trail race to get up a hill?
Well, only a runner (or triathlete) can say that.
I'm glad that I decided to start running, because I probably wouldn't like the life that I would be living if I wasn't a runner.