Running is the kind of thing where you put in the time and expect to see results, and let me be the first to tell you: It is supremely discouraging when you don't. It's discouraging when you run a five-mile race with your entire family and come in a solid 15 minutes behind everyone else, and it's discouraging when that time is no faster or slower than your five-mile time five years ago.
Don't ask me why. All I know is this: As much as I hate running, I love being a runner.
There's some kind of camaraderie between people who spend more money each year on running shoes than on all their other shoes combined, and there's some fundamental similarity between people who can cross 10 miles without pausing.
On days that I run, I exert myself purely for exertion's sake. If you run too, you get why.
When you're a runner, your people are the girls with hair elastics on their wrists and the boys with shorts shorter than yours. They might be better, faster or stronger than you, but you belong with them.
I've laced up my shoes at least once a week since the first day I stepped foot on a track in middle school. Some weeks it's every day, some weeks it's not. Some days, I'll barely go more than a mile, and some days, I'll walk more than I jog. I may not have medals, but I have fresh air, time alone, and creaky knees and tight quads.