#reverb13: shiny and brave

I'm combining prompts from yesterday and today. 

December 2: Shine: What was the best moment of 2013. 

December 3: What was the bravest thing you did in 2013. 

In February, after losing some weight, and getting in a fair amount of shape I joined a running club on campus. I'd been wanting to run for some time but was incredibly nervous about it. I was signing up for several 5K's, for which the club would train me. I knew it would take some time. I knew it would be hard, but nothing prepared me for that first night. Running up a significant hill, I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I could not imagine running even 1 mile. I hated every second. But I did not cry or give up. I went slow; I walked, but I never stopped moving. The day I ran my first mile, I was elated. Although each day I ran felt like an act of bravery. Lacing up my shoes, queuing up my playlists, the ritual of my feet on pavement made me stronger, but it never felt easy. (Not with these hills!). I did begin to enjoy the rush of finishing each mile, of cutting seconds and eventually minutes off my time. 

The night I ran the 5K as part of the Illinois Marathon alongside M was incredible. There were so many people running with us and M pushed me to a pace I wasn't sure I could sustain, but I managed to knock almost 3.5 minutes off my first 5K which happened the week before. It wasn't just about running those 3.1 miles that made me feel brave. It was about how far I'd come in a year, since I decided to focus on my health. It was about running alongside my love, my partner in all things who never once doubted me. That race was about all the smaller steps that got me there and though I've run 5K's since then, that one stands out because of the magnitude of it all coming together. Also, it was kind of about the medal.