The RFW Spring session’s goal run is in the books. We finished it in fine fashion, if I do say so myself – on behalf of us all. Some of the more experienced runners opted to run the entire 5K, while others decided to stick by the strictly timed intervals of their own choosing. Kind of like the beat of our own drummer, but with the splat, splat, splat of our footfalls upon the damp asphalt.
When I met this group for the first time, I discovered some things about them. Mostly from overhearing them speak with others in the group while taking part in the many random conversations that tend to arise during each outing. A fair number of the women had already taken this particular course before. A few had let some time pass and decided they needed a refresher to get back into their running regimen. Others, I heard, simply enjoyed the pace of the session and liked that it allowed them the time and place to get outdoors and join other like-minded women as all of us come together in a somewhat common goal.
I questioned why these women – especially those who were in the session that ended mere weeks prior to this one – would want to remain in the beginner’s course. I wondered what would prevent them from moving on to the intermediate or more advanced courses. Because that was the goal I had for myself. This course was just a stepping stone. Once complete, I knew I was destined to move on to intermediate and greater things. I just knew it.
While riding home with a small group of my fellow RFWers after the race, I found myself looking at them and thinking about the other ladies in the group. I realized I then understood why someone would feel as if they would have the desire to enroll in the beginner’s course more than one time. For some people, this has been their fourth or even fifth time in this same class.
Since some of The Group ran yesterday, we were allowed to take tonight off and we had a potluck gathering in the park. Those that didn’t run yesterday went out early for their normal Monday run and came back to join the rest of us.
I don’t know why, but I had the feeling the tables would be overflowing with the healthiest of foods. Vegetables, organic everything and fruits of all shapes and colors. Sure, all of those were accounted for, but there were also items that tasted good. I stuck with those, unfortunately. After all, I had made caloric room during the walk from my car to the picnic table.
As usual, the park was buzzing with random conversation as The Group spread out into several smaller groups throughout the picnic area. I wandered out of one conversation and into another periodically, trying to take it all in. I heard one of the people talking about how many times they’ve taken this same course and they have no desire to enroll in anything else. There were several people who agreed with that sentiment.
I thought about myself and how I had completed the run yesterday morning and I knew I wasn’t at all where I would like to be at this time in my running ability. I knew if I was going to continue, I needed to take the things I’ve learned in this course – both from the patient coaches and the open and understanding students – and apply it to what I thought I knew before. I wanted to start over and unlearn the things I came into this class believing, and learn the correct way to run and think. And I knew, in order to do that, I would have to go back to step one. The beginning.
So I, too, will retake this beginner’s course and I will be one of the people who must explain to the ‘newbies’ why anyone would feel the desire to take the class again.