One of the hardest parts about running is treating it like the recreational activity it is. This is especially true when grade school memories about running that dreaded mile each week in gym class keep rearing up. What's your worst - or best - memory about running during your youth?
My mother was an extremely athletic person. Unfortunately, this is one characteristic of hers I did not inherit. Needless to say, anything that involved running usually was not a preferred activity.
Because running didn't come naturally, each Wednesday in gym class usually made me cringe. I grew up in northern Wisconsin, where my grade school had a very, very large field and several baseball diamonds and chain link fences that served the summer youth softball program well. They also doubled as markers on the mile-long running route we had to trek each week.
Many of my classmates - who would go on to letter in high school sports - were part of the "6 Minute Club," indicating they could complete the jaunt around the fences and through the fields in six minutes.
Make it the "13 Minute Club" and you'd be looking at the charter member, folks.
Running with friends made the class bearable - except when you'd stop to walk and get a stern look and reprimand from the teacher to "hustle up". These days, I get a chuckle out of those memories, and am glad that I was able to take those experiences and realize the value of running as a recreational and athletic activity. It would be a shame if forced running in grade school and the general dislike I recall having as a kid for that activity kept me from realizing how enjoyable it can be - when done of your own accord and for a cause such as the Komen Race for the Cure.
Your turn - Were you ever part of a running-focused sport, such as cross country, in school? What was it like? Does it worry you that some of today's grade school youth in America don't get the chance to run a mile in gym class? Do you have any memories of your first exposure to running as an activity? When did you fall in love with running?
Visit Kate and Jennifer's online fundraising Web site and help find a Cure.