I started running about two years ago. I had no real training or equipment. I still don't have the right shoes or a fancy GPS system that tells me my route and heart rate. I don't subscribe to Runner's World. I don't have much of a desire to run a competitive 10K or anything like that. Much like Forrest Gump, I just started running and running and running. And I accidentally became a runner.
Last night I ran farther than I ever have before - just under 8 miles. I had been running about 4 or 5 miles lately and just decided to go longer. It wasn't hard. I just did it. Because I have been doing it for a while, it was relatively easy. I thought back to my first few runs around my neighborhood two years ago. I couldn't run a half mile without walking. I can remember when I first ran one mile without stopping. It was a big accomplishment.
Lately I have wondered how many other things I could just start doing. Maybe if I picked up a harmonica or a unicycle or whatever I would be able to use them in a few years. Maybe I could do both at once...then we'd be onto something.
Or maybe if I practiced patience or kindness or self-control everyday it would be easier to be the sort of person I want to be. Practice and repetition are powerful things. They can transform you from a guy who can't run a half mile into a guy who can easily run a quarter marathon. I accidentally became a runner. It just makes me wonder what else I could accidentally become if I just started practicing.