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In January I wrote Part 1 of my journey and in April I wrote Part 2 (all about my first run in 2010), so I figured it was about time for the next part of my journey. If you’ve missed either of the past posts, click above to catch up first!

When I left off I had just written the following words: “I’m glad I didn’t give up after that first .75 of a mile. Getting to a place where I could run was a long process…” So after almost passing out on that first .75 mile run, how did I get to a place where I could manage to run? Well, I knew very little about running, but I knew there was a “thing” where you could walk and run and slowly build up to being able to run the distance that you wanted. So, that’s pretty much what I did.

Starting in February of 2011 I would go out once every week or two for something I called the “run-walk”. I would walk for a couple minutes and then run for 30-40 seconds before walking again. Over the next four months I continued at that pace and decided that I might actually be interested in this whole “running thing”. In June of 2011 I was at my parents gym (their running track is small and 9 laps equals a mile), and I completed 4 miles with every other lap either running or walking (so I ran 1/9 of a mile at a time followed by 1/9 of a mile walk). That was the moment that I really, truly believed that I could actually run, and that maybe I would actually really enjoy it.

The thing is, in order to get myself to a place where I felt like I could run, I had to let go of the desire for the immediate success as well as comparison to other people. I spent MONTHS running very short amounts of time in between periods of walking (remember, POTS was a contributing factor to my slow base building), so I had to give up the idea of immediate gratification in order to achieve what I actually wanted. Also, comparing myself to others who were running would’ve seriously gotten me down on myself and probably would’ve quit before I ever hit that day in June.

If you want to become a runner but don’t think you’ll be able to do it, start slowly like I did and keep your eyes focused on the goal instead of on others. Do the “run walks” or search out the couch to 5k program.

For me, my journey to running started with one failed run and months of slowly, slowly building up the length of my running segments. It’s not really the dream when it comes to running, is it? But without that I don’t think I would’ve ever actually become a runner. But of course this isn’t the end of the story either, and that’s for a different day.

My encouragement to you, whether running, another form of exercise, or some other areas in life, is to not need the instant success or gratification, but keep your eyes focused on the goal that you want, be willing to put in the hard work to get you there, and avoid the comparison trap!

Now it’s your turn to share! Have you ever given up on something that you wanted because it wasn’t immediately easy for you?