I didn't expect it to go this far. I didn't expect it to go anywhere, to be honest. I've tried running before and gave it up every time. Blamed it on my lack of "natural stride," tried to come to terms with the idea that I just wasn't a runner. And ignored that wistful feeling I'd get when I saw someone jogging by, wind in their hair, headphones on.
Two important things I've learned this year:
1. I am, in fact, a runner.
2. Running is a skill, not a talent.
What I mean by the second one is this; yes, you can have a natural talent for running. Running will then be easier for you than others. However, anyone, natural talent or no, will get out of it what they put in. And that applies to anything in life, not just running.
What did I put into it? Half an hour a day, five to six days a week. Forty miles per month, 480 miles a year. Running in snow and ice and anywhere from ten to ninety degrees Fahrenheit.
This is starting to sound like a brag-fest, and that's not what I want. The point I'm trying to make is that you--yes, you--will get out of it what you put in. Even if you have no "natural stride," even if your legs are so short you have to hem petite pants to fit, even if you're massively out of shape. You will get out of it what you put in.
And don't forget, that goes for everything in life, not just running.