"If I can become a runner, anyone can. Seriously? Anyone."

The view from the Bondi to Bronte walk. Image supplied.

Usually, there are only three things that could possibly make me run: Being chased by someone, trying to catch my escaping dog, or sprinting to an ice cream shop in the rain.

In all seriousness, I might be the most reluctant foot-mover you’ve ever met.

I love going for long walks with a friend or listening to a good podcast – the Bondi to Bronte coastal walk in Sydney is my happy place (and it’s so beautiful you barely notice you’re exercising). But running it? Nah.

I’m scared — scared of what I look like when I run, what my lungs will do, how my feet will feel, whether my knees will roll,  Truly, I won’t even run for the bus. The idea of voluntarily running just for the fun of it seems utterly ridiculous. My first and only long-distance running event was when I was nine-years-old, and I came in 93rd place. Out of 102.

Suffice to say that, ordinarily, running just aint my thing.

But I want it to be my thing. I really, really fancy myself as a human who runs for fitness. My sister runs (she’s the Sporty Spice to my Baby Spice), and she swears she loves it. My best friend’s training for a half-marathon with her Superman-lookalike boyfriend, and they’re so happy and healthy about it. It clears their heads, it keeps them sane, it makes them happy, endorphins, endorphins, etc.

I want that. I really, really want that.

I want in on the romance of running. I want to be the type of person who gets up at sunrise, jumps out of bed, slips into leggings, ties the laces of their funky new shoes, and heads out the door. I want to feel the wind in my hair, the cool air in my lungs, the sweat on my temples, the delicate thud-thud as my feet move.

I want running to be peaceful and exhilarating and, most of all, mine. Everyone who runs says that their daily jog is their time to think and reflect and plan and get inspired. Seriously, I want in on that.


So I did something very, very brave yesterday. I went to The Athletes’ Foot in Bondi Junction to get new shoes. Because everybody knows the single most effective way to trick yourself into exercise is to have good accessories.

Kate's new running shoes from The Athletes Foot. the Image supplied.

An extremely patient man called Greg got me to sit down and take off my shoes. He measured each foot, and then asked me to walk along this tiny treadmill that would track where I put pressure on my feet when I walk. It was way more high-tech than I'd expected (I was planning to just go there and grab the prettiest pair of purple, blue, and pink shoes I could see and make a dash for it). Looking down at my bare feet, I knew my becoming a runner journey had officially started.

"Are you a runner?" Greg asked me, not knowing who he was dealing with here.

"I am not a runner," I say. "I'm the furthest thing from a runner you can imagine."

"Do you do other sports?" asks Patient Greg.

"No. But I'm about to change all that, Greg. I'm going to be a runner."

Greg was proud of me, I think. He tried my feet in three different pairs of shoes, and he didn't seem to mind at all when I launched into a comprehensive comparison of blue and pink shoes versus turquoise and orange. He didn't even look at me funny when I insisted on wearing one brand of shoe on my left foot, one on my right, while I wandered around the shop talking myself through the different feelings.

When I left that shop with my disco-blue and pink New Balance kicks, I genuinely felt inspired to get running.

Check back in with me - I'm going to be writing about my running experience right here over the next few weeks and months. If I can become a runner, anyone can. Seriously? Anyone.