Just Start Running
A local DJ shares her story of getting started—one step at a time.
In the spirit of transparency, you should know this about me: I am not athletic. I never have been. I wasn’t much of a health enthusiast either. I guess I’m still not. What I am, however, is getting older. As much as I’d like to believe I still have the same body I did at 20, the harsh, droopy reality is, I don’t. What’s a girl to do? If you’re me, you start running. Starting was the hardest part. It was the spring of 2011 and I had a health issue that made me realize it was time to move it or lose it. So I promised myself I would get this body going. Almost four years later, I am getting ready to run my second half-marathon and have logged hundreds of miles on my running apps.
Picture those videos of women running. She’s smiling and confident and barely breaking a sweat. Now, picture the opposite of that. That’s me when I run. I look tired, I am sweating and most likely slightly winded. Rarely am I smiling, but most importantly, I am moving. Not fast, but putting one foot in front of the other. It is a concerted effort and one that after a couple of years has gotten a bit easier. It all started with that first step.
Being a radio DJ isn’t as glamorous as you might think. Taylor Swift isn’t my BFF. I don’t get to go backstage at every rock concert, and I have never flown on Adam Levine’s private jet. (Yeah, I’m bummed about that, too.) We DJs spend a lot of time in the studio. Sitting. Sedentary is our lifestyle. I do, however, get to talk to people every day and, I hope, help make a difference in our community. That’s why when the idea to put together Charlie’s Crew for WJBR came along, I thought, “This, I can do!” The idea was to build a team of people, like myself, to commit to running and getting healthy, and then do it to raise money for great causes. To date, Charlie’s Crew has run more than 20 5K races all in the name of getting healthy and raising funds for charity.
We just completed our third Caesar Rodney 5K. (The first was the inaugural Charlie’s Crew run.) I started with a free “Couch to 5K” app, put my favorite songs on my iPod and headed out. Those first few weeks, just the thought of running an entire 3.1 miles was terrifying. No way was I going to be able to do it. Not all in one day, at least. It took perseverance. It took determination. It took Motrin and a heating pad. I have been fortunate a few times in life. I’ve landed No. 1 in the ratings, I’ve had good hair days and I can name that tune in less than two seconds.
While those are all great accomplishments, there is nothing like the feeling of crossing the finish line. You did it! You and you alone. Sure, your friends and family can cheer you on, but you, and only you, are responsible for moving one foot in front of the other and making your way across that finish line. I did this. Me. The gal who a few years ago couldn’t run for more than two minutes at a time, just completed a 3.1-mile race! I was tired, I was sore, but I finished. You’ll get addicted to that feeling. Why not give it a try? Join Charlie’s Crew at our next race. You can find the entire list at www.wjbr.com. I’d be honored to have you on the crew!
Charlie Maxx is program director and morning co-host on 99.5 WJBR.