I Guess I’m A Runner Now?

March 27, 2022

My Accidental Journey of 1000 Miles

Journey of 1000 Miles: Yesterday morning, we’re walking the dog, when Bruce said something that stopped me in my tracks, “Do you know that you’ve run almost 1000 miles in the last two years?” What? No way. I’m not even a runner for goodness sakes. That can’t be… and yet… guess what? Yup… 967.2 miles! Holy God! How the hell did that happen?

The year before I got divorced was rough. The kids had all flown the coop and I was feeling pretty badly… physically…emotionally. I was overweight (182lbs on my 5’9″ self) and depressed, but I didn’t have a clue how to get out of the funk I was in. It was a sad time all the way around.

When my daughter, Libby, came home from her service year as a missionary, for a couple of months stay at home, she was antsy without a project or a goal. She wanted to do something physical whilst waiting for her new job to start. So she decided to return to the boxing she’d done in college and asked me to join her. What?!? Boxing?? No way! I’d never hit anyone in my whole life (well, maybe my kid brother a few thousand times when I was 10 or 11, but that hardly counts, right?) Boxing didn’t seem right for me but I did know that I had do do something… so I went. It was, in my mind at least, mostly a way to spend time with my kid before she flew away again. And that’s how I became a runner…

Journey of 1000 Miles: I know, that doesn’t make any sense at all because we were talking about boxing, after all, right? Well, what actually happened on my way to becoming a runner is that I LOVED the boxing classes. Libby left for her job in North Carolina… and I kept going. My stress went down dramatically – nothing like punching the crap out of a bag to get out the bad stuff. Also my weight dropped without dieting (30lbs in 6 months) . And I was eating food like it would be discontinued shortly… even drinking wine. It was amazing and the best therapy that I’d ever had.

Over the next two years, through divorcing and moving and buying a new home, I kept it up. When I met Bruce I even convinced him to go. And then… COVID. Ugh! Even with all the disinfecting and distancing, I was suddenly a little too afraid to go to my now beloved dojo. So what was I going to do? I had no idea, but I knew I had to do something.

Bruce has always been a runner… but I had sworn up and down, to anyone who’d listen, that I never would be one… unless I was chased by a lion or something. But COVID, stinking COVID was hurting my anti-stress and exercise game. The first day I ran with Bruce I couldn’t get down the street. I couldn’t make it the 1/2 a mile to the end… without thinking about dying. How could this be? I was literally in the best shape of my life thanks to boxing. This running thing was NOT going to work! I wanted my sensei and my dojo back! But COVID persisted and running became one of the only safe options to keeping healthy and staying less crazy. So we ran… a little more everyday. And I became a runner… ugly, neon, Carhart knit cap and all… a runner…967.2 miles… and counting.

Journey of 1000 Miles
Here I am, after a recent 5K in Brooklyn… lovely hat and all.

A Final Thought..,

I’m not saying this journey is for everyone, but I’m sharing my thoughts on this with you for one very big reason: you have to take care of yourself… take time for yourself. You are the only you that you get.

If you become a runner… great! Or if you learn to knit, fantastic! If you take up photography, awesome! When I was a stay-home mom and then a working mom, I never made time for myself. Sure, I had the occasional girls’ trip to The Brimfield Antiques Show or a night out on the town, but there was nothing regular. I did very little for myself… and it showed… and I felt it. Boxing helped. Running continues to help me. It’s a good feeling, having something for yourself… doing something for yourself. I hope, my dear reader, that you have already found that thing for you… or that you will… soon.


  • Reply
    Medelise Reifsteck
    March 27, 2022 at 7:35 pm

    I love this story!!! good Job Marianne.

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