After this semester, I still have a full year before I have to give up one of the things I enjoy most about this campus: the Integrated Wellness Complex and Fitness Center. I’m not the most athletic person in the world, far from it actually.

Even still, I love going to the group fitness classes the IWC provides. Yoga and Butt & Gut are two of my favorite places to be–and more recently with my sudden kick for cardio, the indoor track.


Photo by Amy Nelson ’20


Why Am I Doing This to Myself?


Other than to get in shape and prove something to myself, I’d like to begin running so I can complete fun runs such as the Color Run!

The only problem is that I have had a lot of anxiety about running, especially on a treadmill. The main reason I stick to the elliptical and packed workout classes is because I feel like nobody can see or judge me.

When I run, my asthma kicks in…HARD. And although I probably won’t fly off the end of the treadmill, and hopefully nobody is staring at me as my wobbly legs carry my panting self along the track, it feels scary instead of freeing.

So without further ado, I’m going to share my running journey with all of you. Mile by mile.


Photo by Kelsa Katzey ’21


Mile 1 


Mile 1 on the indoor track is 10 laps and far too many steps. I can run 1 mile. 1 mile, and then I need to be done. It’s not like I collapse or that my legs feel dead.

Is running more of a mental thing? Because to be honest, I haven’t exactly TRIED to run more than 1 mile, and during my first time on the track I didn’t even make it to half a mile. I usually run my 10th lap on the track, and part way through the 11th I’ve started walking.

I called my boyfriend when I started my fitness project to tell him how proud I was of myself and the convo went something like this:

Me: Hey you, I met my first goal today!
Him: That’s awesome! I ran tonight, too. How far did you go?
Me: 1 mile and walked a few laps. You?
Him: …I ran a 5k…
Me (internally): I think it will take a lot longer to catch up to him than I originally thought. (I’d like to go on runs with my boyfriend and surprise him! He was in cross country once upon a time, and it would be cool to show him that I’m not as athletically challenged as he currently believes.)

Tip 1: folks, DO NOT compare yourself to others, especially when you’re trying something new.


Photo by Kelsa Katzfey ’21


Mile 2


I’ve started to try running on the treadmill… on occasion. I still don’t love it, because I feel as if I’m going to fly off the end like an unfortunate nightmare or an old Vine. But I think conquering your fears is important, so I run for a little bit on the treadmill then move to the track.

I find after the first mile that it helps to walk a lap or two, then go back to jogging. Also, a kick-butt playlist helps pass the time, keep my pace and keep my mind off the pain in my legs and lungs (thanks, asthma).

Tip 2: Focus on distance, not time. I find that if I make a goal distance, that is more important than having a “good time.” I’ll start worrying about my personal record once I can actually complete a 5k without feeling like I died and came back to life. How do people do this for fun?!

Also, fun fact: I told my dad about my 5k plans and he knows that it’s not exactly up my alley. His words of encouragement were, “Don’t hurt yourself JoJo, take it slow.” Thanks, Pops.


Photo by Kelsa Katzey ’21


Mile 3


So, I can’t do this yet, but I’m well on my way. School gets in the way of me running as much as I should. Let’s face it: sometimes after a long, difficult day on campus, a quick, at-home yoga session is more fun than running laps at the track.

Tip 3: Just keep running! I’m not going to give up on this goal because I know I’ll be proud of myself when I get there!

If you struggle as hard core as I do with running, I hope this blog gave you hope… or at least a laugh. Thank God for our beautiful, student-fee paid for, gym memberships here at WSU because I would have never paid for a gym membership otherwise to torture myself like this!

Any other advice you lovely people have for me would be greatly appreciated.


Updated by Hailey Seipel (07/02/2019)