Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why I Do It

Why do any of us do what we do? How did we find our professions, our passions, our interests or the people who have leading roles in our lives?

It is interesting when you think of the twists and turns that life throws your way. While the spot you are in right now may not make a lot of sense- there will come a moment when you realize that there is a reason. The faithful know that on the walk with God- it isn't a straight path. There will be times that test you and you'll find yourself walking alone. Times that you walk in the shade, sipping Mommy Juice with a tribe of people cheering you on. Times that you can just enjoy the journey and know you have no idea what's in're just on the right path. It's all these emotions that have led me to enjoy running.

I don't always enjoy the run. Sometimes my body aches all the way to my soul and I feel alone and ask myself why the heck am I doing any of this? Sometimes when I run I look around me at trees, other people, my surroundings or the people running with me and realize I'm exactly where I should be. Sometimes when I run I do it out of anger at my situation or what I feel are my physical weaknesses...but no matter what, it always presents a challenge for me.

If you have ever run, you know there is a point for every runner where you reach a sort of runner's high and you're on autopilot. Your breathing is steady and if your legs are trained you could run for what seems like forever. This generally happens for me between miles three & four and for about six miles my body is on cruise control. Then mile 10 hits and it all goes to hell.

I found this past weekend at the end of mile 10 on my 1/2 marathon trek that it became a battle of my mind over my body. My body was tired. My knee done. My sense of self depleted and this big hill staring me down. I even stopped at the bottom of the hill and said "you gotta be frickin kidding me.." (that's the PG version if I'm honest). But it was mile ten..only three more to go..up the hill I went.

If someone had told me several years ago that at 31 I'd be divorced, and raising my little boy on my own. I would have laughed. If someone had told me that I would finish a 1/2 marathon as a single, working mother, I would have laughed as well...but I did it and running makes me feel strong. Like I can do anything.

My life might currently feel like I'm constantly at mile 10 staring at a big hill with only three miles to go, and all of these obstacles. But I finished this race and I did it for all the times I've been told I couldn't in life and allowed myself to believe it. For all those negative comments I spent years listening to, the negative people who were toxic in my life... I ran up the hill so I knew I could. I finished a 1/2 marathon so my little boy knows his Mom is tough and even when I wanted to- I didn't quit.

I didn't finish in record time. I just finished and did so running (as opposed to crawling)... that was my only objective. I felt fairly confident that I would cry when I crossed the finish line- but I was too tired. That came later. So while to many people running might that far might seem like insanity- it's part of my journey at the moment and I'll probably run another 1/2 marathon. Next time I'll worry about my times and getting good at finishing.

But in this moment.. where I can barely walk..I'm basking in the glow of realizing it's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to things. It's amazing where the journey might lead you and sometimes when you take a leap of faith you find yourself crossing a finish line you never imagined.

Thanks to the Wahtlstedt's and Nana/Papa for watching Cole so I could do this...I'm lucky to have such amazing people supporting me on the journey.

Advil is in my future. Holla!


NancyJ said...

GREAT analogy! GREAT accomplishment! I might want to be you when I grow up! :-)

marketing boy said...

I was so proud of you crossing that finish line. You are a rock star and Cole is lucky to have such a great role model.