Friends are Friends, Not Foes

I am fairly embarrassed about my athletic ability. Almost all of my friends are athletic, and I’m involved in climbing and martial arts. Sometimes I even manage to fool myself into thinking I can be good at sports. It’s a lie though. I am pretty slow to progress at any sports. I started running maybe a month or two ago and yet I am still struggling to run over a mile.

I have this roommate though that is very athletic, which is interesting, because looking at him, he seems about average, but he bikes and rows and climbs and crushes. So the other day he went on a run with me. He wants to try doing a triathlon for whatever reason. I told him before going on the run that I am a terrible runner blah blah blah, but I don’t think he understood, because this kid starts running at about an 8 min/mile pace, while I am struggling to finish a mile in under 10 minutes. I’ve always performed better with friends, because it gives me a bit more willingness to push myself. I see my friend doing well and I want to do anything I can to keep up. But damn. This kid has these long legs and he seems to be taking only a single step for every two I take.

After about a mile I gave in and took a rest, then after that we took about 4 more rests throughout the second mile. I was so embarrassed! He is my roommate, so he knows that I go out and run all the time, yet I am so clearly aboard the struggle bus! At one of the rest stops I started making excuses for myself and apologizing. “I’m not very athletic,” I told him. Boy, was I surprised when his response was that we are going to make me athletic. When we got home he told me he wants to run with me every day. That was nice to hear. If he can believe in me, so can I.

Yesterday he brought me to the gym and taught me how to row, and today my back is sore in the most satisfying way. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Rowing is something I will definitely do as a workout in the future. Because I had shoulder surgery last year, I had to concentrate quite a bit to be sure I was engaging the correct muscles. I really liked that about it. I’m still afraid to do a lot of things that involve arms, but as long as I stayed focused it didn’t hurt to row outside of the normal fatigue of my muscles. I loved the feeling of my muscles growing tired without any intense pain. Still I was nervous that my shoulder would be irritated today, but I feel fantastic. My back is nice and sore, giving me hope that eventually my shoulder may actually feel decent.

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