Today was a milestone day in the life of Grace: I went running for the first time since my knee surgery. (Almost 6 months exactly since the surgery; almost 12 months exactly since I dislocated my knee the first time.)

Now, by “running” we mean a 1-minute-walk/1-minute-run combo for only 20 minutes, but it’s more running than I was doing yesterday! I am so happy. It made my entire day better, my legs have that “wait wtf is this” feeling that I like so much about running, and I feel totally justified in everything I ate today.

Running was never something I thought I’d like. I was kind of sporty as a kid but I would get out of breath quickly; even in college when I played hockey and rugby I only ran when the coach had us do laps. Running was something other people did, those crazy hardcore people who were out in subzero Minnesota winters running around snowbanks. Not me. I read Victorian novels and watched cartoons in my pajamas, and I definitely slept in on weekends.

I don’t know what clicked about 18 months ago. It seemed like a good way to get some exercise and be outside (I don’t really like gyms), and there’s a nice trail around a nearby reservoir. All sorts of people run on the trail—athletes from Boston College, 45-year-old men with beer bellies, slow people who are just figuring it out. They made running seem not intimidating. So I invested in some running shoes and—somehow it just worked that time. I wasn’t very good at it by the time I dislocated my knee last July, but I’d fallen in love with running, with the runner’s high and the feeling of being out on the trail. And I got to see baby geese every morning! I love baby animals!

I didn’t realize how much I needed running until it I hurt myself and it wasn’t an option. I got cranky. I couldn’t eat whatever I wanted anymore. I didn’t have that nice afterburn from running 3 miles before heading to a day of meetings. I didn’t have my races to look forward to.

But now I’m back. Back to the beginning, really, since I’m back out of shape and not able to go far or fast. I’m embarking on my running journey for a second time, and I’m so much more excited this time because I know the journey is going to end up somewhere great.