You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. – C.S. Lewis

I was never particularly athletic in school. The cheerleaders were the ones who ran track and played basketball. I was a majorette, and more of the theater type. I was always active, running just didn’t appeal to me in the least. I resigned myself to the fact that if we ever faced a zombie apocalypse, I’d be eating brains fairly quickly.

Then I turned 39.

We enrolled our oldest daughter, who was 9 at the time, in a program called Girls on the Run. It’s awesome. Over the course of the curriculum, girls learn vital life skills through running games and conversation-based lessons. At the end of the program, the girls run a 5K together. (There’s more to how amazing this program is – empowering girls to be confident, strong and community minded – but that’s another post!).

For the 5K, they needed “running buddies” to stick with the girls as they did the race. I was hesitant, not being a runner and all. However, my desire to run a race with my daughter outweighed any apprehension. We probably walked more than we ran, but we finished!

Since then, I’ve run a few more 5Ks, a 4-Miler, a couple of trail races and the USMC Mud Run (probably my biggest challenge yet!).

Currently, I’m training for my first half marathon. It was my goal for last year, but I chickened out. I decided I was not going to let 2012 close out without me having accomplished that goal.

I’m not gonna lie. I’m still pretty stinkin’ slow, I’m sure I look ridiculous, and I don’t LOVE it…yet. I’m certainly no Eric Liddell – as portrayed in Chariots of Fire (though there are similarities as evidenced in the picture below).

However, I look forward to my morning runs. I love the way I feel when I finish – not just because it’s over. I feel stronger and more confident in what I can do athletically than I did when I was 20. I’ve also been crazy blessed along the way with people who have encouraged me as athlete and schooled me on this running thing – Karin, Jean, Janna, Melody, Jessica, Jill, Amie, Heather, Mary Ellen, Jane, and Carole. Without them, I would have surely been injured more or would have quit entirely after one crappy run.

I’ve decided not to let my age get in the way of my physical health. I may be crossing finish lines a lot slower one day – but I’ll still be crossing them.