A student asked me recently how I got into running. Knowing that a have an ability to tell a very long (read: boring) story, this is what I wrote back:
I started playing club soccer in 5th grade, and then I did a little cross country and long jump in middle school. I kept playing soccer on the side, not for school, until I was in high school. I didn’t actually really get into running as its own sport/exercise until graduate school. I needed something to help with stress, and I really enjoyed it. Graduate school was exhausting. In the summer time, I was traveling and teaching so much, that the only free time I had, I spent running. That’s about all I had the money for [!] and I didn’t know the areas where I was stationed that well, so it was a fun adventure going out in the mornings and running around the cities and neighborhoods, getting lost and finding my way back. It made me feel strong and clear-headed. It made me feel independent, and I needed that sense of control in a chaotic life. I guess I still do.