A few years ago a friend of mine who has been an avid runner since age 12 encouraged me to run. She assured me I could do it. I think I had the desire to be a runner but really didn't know how to begin. So for a couple months I ran a little, walked a lot, ran a little more, and so on, until I hurt my knee. The podiatrist encouraged me to rest and let the knee heal and then buy a pair of real running shoes instead of trying to run in my three-year-old Meijer specials. I did so, but then we got a lot of snow and a foster child came to live with us and I lost interest in running.
Last year I decided I needed to drop a few pounds and get some exercise so I started walking inside with Leslie Sansone videos. I was quite happy with this until the dog chewed up the DVD! So faced with the necessity of another plan, this summer I started walking the track at the high school while my kids took tennis lessons. After a few weeks I started feeling the need for speed and figured I'd walk a lap and run a lap. This slowly turned into more walking than running and now I'm up to 2.5 miles on my short day and 4 miles on my long day.
I wouldn't say that running is a passion for me, nor do I have any goals to run races or lose weight, but I will agree with Beth that I have never regretted going for a run but have often regretted not doing so. It is a time that I can run from my obligations and the noise of my house and enjoy time alone listening to music and burning off some stress. I find that I handle the pressures of life more easily and sleep better at night when I'm getting plenty of exercise, all for the price of a pair of good running shoes and some workout clothes from Walmart.
Running is probably not for everyone, but take it from this short-legged middle-aged mom, it's never too late or too hard to start!