This morning I woke up after my very rough attempt at a half marathon to the actual ability to walk. Like, without issues, really. Granted, I had taken some OTC pain reliever early this morning, but still. I was slightly surprised. And as I sit here at work and think about the weekend that I just experienced I think about, well, everything. I think back to the first group Gazelle Run Camp race I participated in….The Medaling Monkey 5k. Three miles. I remember thinking that there was NO WAY that I was going to be able to pull that off. Three miles. That was along time to sit and ponder what in the heck I was thinking choosing to “run for fun”. Three miles. Seems so miniscule now given what I have been able to accomplish to date.
I remember being introduced to Emma as my “Team Leader” on my first run camp day. The positivity and light that came from this woman was not only what I needed at that time, but something I aspired to be myself. And her having me run like 15 seconds and walk 15 seconds even seemed impossible at the time. Again, seems so miniscule now.
I remember she ran with me the last 100 yards of that race. Pushing me. I literally thought I was going to die, and this woman whom I thought was so full of life and spirit in the beginning was trying to kill me. I don’t recall the exact time, but it was either just under or just over 1 hour for me to complete that race. And, obviously, I changed my view of Emma back to my original assumption of her 🙂
I have learned a lot over the past two and a half years. I have learned that time, at least for me, does not matter in a race. Goals, however, are important. I have learned that I have done more over this time than I have done in my life since high school. I have learned that faster does not necessarily mean better. And that completing something that you have worked hard for, regardless of what happened during the course, is much more meaningful than giving up.
I will not lie and say that since my bariatric surgery and my running lifestyle I have been “cured” of my self doubt. If anything it is more ramped up. I still have body image issues. I still fear the life I had prior to the active lifestyle I have gained. I still KNOW that if I do not surround myself with positive, challenge producing people I WILL give up.
I have learned during this journey that even though I like to run alone, I am absolutely surrounded by family, friends and a community that WANTS to build people up, not drive people down. That it is not only myself that I will let down if I give up, but them as well. And if that happens I know that they will still be there when I jump back in my zero drop toe shoes and get running. But I have no plans for that. I have no plans to quit. I have no plans to keep myself down. Because three years ago I could not walk a mile. And 18 months ago I was NEVER going to do a marathon anything. Because in 2016 alone I completed my first 10k, my first triathlon, my first duathlon and my first half-marathon. Because in 2017……..the sky is the limit!
Keep on….making yourself happy!