Thursday, May 2, 2013

I AM a runner. Despite all the evidence otherwise

I first began thinking about this blog over six months ago when I started training for the Houston Half Marathon.  I toyed with the idea every week especially after my long runs, but couldn’t bring myself to do more than short Facebook posts.  I loved the feedback I got from Facebook, but felt unsatisfied by the posting constraints and longed for a forum where I could really explore my thoughts.  So, why couldn’t I pull the trigger and start the blog?  Because I was haunted by one thought: How could I write a blog about running when I am not a runner?!? 

 I am certainly not a runner.  I don’t even really like running.  At least 4 days a week I choose another form of exercise that I enjoy more.  Hello elliptical machine and trashy celebrity gossip magazines!!  I’m certainly not good at running.  You want to see good at running?  Go to Memorial Park one afternoon.  That’s where you’ll find real runners.  I know because I see those real runners as they blow past me with their long, effortless strides and six pack abs.  True story: I've actually been told that my running style is comparable to Pheobe from friends.  Something like this...
And, if you still don’t believe me, I submit photographic evidence.  In each of these photos, I promise you, I was trying my best to be a real runner.  Obvious fail.  These pictures scream, “NOT A RUNNER.”  Determined walker at best.  Notice that some of these pictures actually say "proof" across them.  Exactly, my friend.


I was terrified by the thought that you would take one look at me and this blog and think, “FRAUD.”

 How often do we do this to ourselves?  We are always focusing on what we are not.  I have a long list of am nots that come to mind when thinking of myself.  According to that dreaded voice in my head, I am not:

  1. thin enough
  2. smart enough
  3. successful enough
  4. daughter enough
  5. wife enough
  6. creative enough
  7. brave enough
  8. etc. etc. etc.
To be honest with you, I am sick to death of focusing on what I am not enough of.  Aren't you?  Well, I say ENOUGH with that!  How many opportunities have we squandered thinking that we were not enough of something?  How many job opportunities, social activities, passion projects, etc. have we missed because we were afraid we were not fill in the blank enough?  I’m now asking why are we not enough for ourselves? Oh what lives we could lead if we just realized that we are more than enough.  Shouldn’t we be our own biggest fans?  This world isn’t easy and plenty of people are going to tell you that you aren’t enough.  I say, ENOUGH with that. 

 So, today I tell you I AM a runner.  Despite all of the evidence already discussed, I do run.  I've finished one full marathon, two half marathons, and countless 5ks and 10ks.  That's got to count for something.  Today I decide that taking a risk, ignoring the voice in my head saying you are not enough of a runner (or a writer for that matter), and putting myself out there is worth the uncomfortable feeling of overcoming my self doubt.
And while others are busy being real runners, I enjoy a different running bonus (because I’m certainly not enjoying the bonus of six pack abs and chiseled legs).  Running brings me clarity.  Something happens while I run that allows me to see the beauty of life.  By struggling through longs runs I have been able to learn a little something about how I want to live my life when the running shoes come off. I think that in some ways this can be attributed to my poor running skills.  Running is so difficult for me that everything else (work issues, conversations had or to be had, to-do lists that need doing, you know, the fun stuff) falls by the wayside and I am focused solely on the run ahead of me.  This focus leaves me hyper aware of my body, my mind, and my spirit as I run and has given me the opportunity to learn some lessons that, I think, apply to every aspect of life.

 Through this blog I would like to share these lessons with you.  I can’t promise that my lessons will always apply to you or even entertain you (hell, you might fine them plain ol' dumb), but I can promise you that I will try my best and will always approach this blog with the pure intention of putting out positive lessons that I hope will help at least one person (me?) face this ultimate long run we call life.  And, hopefully that is ENOUGH for you.



No comments:

Post a Comment