As a young kid, I never really ran outside of my brief participation in sports (basketball - funny now, right, because I'm so short? but I LOVED it in 3rd grade). I was in private school, and we had gym once every two weeks. Then, we moved to Arizona and I went to public school, and we had gym. We had to run the mile. And I could NOT do it.
My gym teacher told my mom that I should be checked for asthma, and I was found to suffer from exercise-induced asthma, followed quickly by asthma triggered by allergies (no wonder all that Robitussin I took for coughing never helped!) and asthma triggered by cold weather. (I also have asthma triggered badly by high humidity, but that wasn't discovered until I moved back to Boston for college. The desert = not so humid.) After that, I never ran the mile. I dreaded it. I used to sit out on that day in gym classes. I ran track in junior high, but I was a sprinter and I never acknowledged a long distance.
In high school, I was on the color guard for two years, but we didn't run.
In college, I used to go to the gym (well, my first two years of college before I went abroad I went all the time. My senior year, I went on occasion, though I was far more often found at the BU Pub) but I always went on the elliptical or took a yoga or dance class. Grad school was more of the same at the beginning, until I lived in Back Bay, right by the Charles River, and I decided to go for a run by the river. Surprisingly, I loved running with all of the other people running around, looking at the city I love and across the river at the city where I was born (Cambridge). Then Chris and I moved to Arlington, and we live right on a running trail, so I ran outside when it was warm and once it got cold, when I dragged myself to the gym, I used the elliptical. No treadmill for this girl.
I never thought about running a race for real until summer 2010, but I didn't tell anyone until I discovered that three of us had the same thought. We decided to run a 10K for Anna's 25th birthday. We did it. Now, I'm obsessed. I run outside in the cold. I even run on the treadmill. I take my inhaler first so I don't fall over. I stalk races on the Internet. I officially have a problem. I'm slow, but I don't care - and I'm getting faster.
And I love it.
My gym teacher from high school would die if he saw me now.