By Cheri Felix
Running. Two years ago I was holding steady with my personal statement about running; I’m not running unless someone is chasing me. And that someone better be scary and trying to take my coffee away from me. But then something happened and I can’t even remember what it was exactly. It’s like that old couple when they get asked about how they met and they’re a little bit foggy about the details but they can remember the love and the chemistry.
I think it started with cyclocross. I was running the steps at Valmont Bike Park, trying to get an edge for the running parts of ‘cross. I was also trying to trick my body into thinking that it can do more even when it’s redlining. And if I’m honest, I was probably avoiding practicing dismounts and remounts. I think that was the gateway drug for me; those darn 5280 steps at Valmont. And then I was like “I’ll just run a mile..okay maybe two.” I ran the Bolder Boulder with my oldest daughter a few times but wasn’t running with a goal. And then I started running more and then I think and I can’t confirm or deny this but, I think my daughter would tell you that during the last Bolder Boulder I might have said in response to her telling me she had to pee, “Do you really have to go?”. Just maybe this happened. And then my husband caught me in the bathtub. Reading ‘Runner’s World’. And now I have a two year subscription. My, my, my. How the mighty have fallen. Or risen depending on how you look at it.
This year I’m running the Bolder Boulder. Twice. Once solo and once with the kids. This way everyone can go pee when they need to. Or eat. Or catch their breath. Whatever. And since I’m being honest, I’d say running the Bolder Boulder was part of the gateway to running. It’s so much fun and inclusive and when I run it I have the feeling that I am a part of the best community in the whole entire world. It’s that great. The bands, the people along the way, the other runners, the slip-n-slide, the Doritos, the cupcakes and finally, running into the stadium, arms raised and with the largest smile on my face. It’s really something to behold.
Even if you don’t run or read Runner’s World or ever want to run the 5280 steps at Valmont Bike Park, there’s a wave for you in the Bolder Boulder. That’s what I mean about the whole inclusive thing. And if you’re like me, somewhere in between a newbie and starting to look at running a 1/2 marathon for your first time, there’s a spot for you too. As I grow older I’m more interested in expanding the category of what I love and less interested in reducing activities. I’m finding that having more sports to choose from is better for my body and my mind. Plus, I’m making new friends. And who doesn’t love a new friend and a new pair of running shoes?
I’ll write again about my arthritis and how I went through a stage in my life where I could barely walk in the morning. When my husband would have to help me get dressed. How I went to the Mayo Clinic and how I could barely change a diaper, open a can of soup or brush my own hair. I’ll tell you how grateful I am that I even get to run.
Look for me on May 30th. And keep an eye out for my next article about how experiencing something akin to rheumatoid arthritis and perhaps psoriatic arthritis, makes me feel grateful. Every. Single. Day.