Today I joined the local “Learn to Run” clinic in town. Our goal is to train over a 10 week period towards a 5 km race in mid-March. No, I am not leading the clinic.  I am a participant – a paying participant.

My loyal blog followers are probably double-checking that they followed the correct link to this address. In fact, I can almost hear Marie saying, “What the f*@# are you talking about?” But, I have heard that the biggest part of any problem is recognizing that a problem actually exists. In enrolling for this clinic, I am addressing a problem.

Moving to a new place has had a lot of perks. I could go on forever, recounting the joys of the 10 minute commute, the sound of silence, the pleasures of small-town people, but I have another blog that tells those stories. But there are downsides to moving. I know about 10 people and none of them run. I hear about many trails and routes, but I only know two of them well. I still consider myself a runner, but I am lacking the motivation to truly train or set a goal. My running hasn’t stopped, but it has stagnated.

So, when the admin assistant at my school started talking about this learn-to-run clinic, I listened. With a chuckle, she admitted that she was signing up for her 8th year in the clinic since it helped her jump-start her running after Christmas festivities ended. She raved about the social aspects – the post-run coffees, the peer-pressure to run on crappy days, the friendships that extend beyond the clinic. It made me remember the old days of being a regular member of the Semiahmoo Sunrunners in White Rock about 18 years ago. She emphasized that it was a clinic for all people interested in running, no matter what their background or ability. She told me to come out.  So,I did.

Day 1 – I joined level 4, the highest level, which consists of people who can run 5 km already. There were about 15 people (almost all women) and 3 leaders in the group. We ran for a grand total of 34 minutes at a very slow pace. As we chatted and compared stories, the leaders kept the pace casual and didn’t allow any jack-rabbits to go off the front. When we were done, I had not yet broken a sweat or had begun breathing heavily.

But that’s not the point. I chatted with about 8 people and even met  the women who lives across the street from me.

Things are looking up.