Skip to main content

A Question of Motive

So I’ve been thinking…Maybe I should train to run the Des Moines Half Marathon.

Every once in a while I’ll look up from my work and see the picture of me crossing the finish line at the Disney half. I remember what it felt like to finish that amazing challenge and part of me kind of longs to feel it again. I keep that picture,
along with several other race pictures (and one of Rocky Balboa)in my line of site at work. Whenever I’m feeling low, or frustrated, I glance up and see my favorite fictional hero…and myself. A similar underdog, I suppose.
Before last year, I never once wondered with excited curiosity what it would feel like to complete a half marathon. Before last year, I never even really knew what a 5K was, or how many there are around Des Moines alone! I never concerned myself much with physical fitness or planned physical activity. I accepted early on that I was not a runner, not an athlete, not a physical competitor. I quit track in junior high after about 2 practices; my lungs burning from running around the block. I quit basketball in junior high when all the other girls shot up around me and I quit growing taller. I quit volleyball in high school, when the competition got too hard and I accepted that I just wasn’t good enough to compete. (That and a certain boy had my attention by then.) Even when I was in sports though, I was never one of THOSE girls - the REAL athletes. For the most part, I was ok with it…but something changed over the past year and a half. Training for my first 5K with Amy, and actually learning to run, learning that I COULD run, changed me. Participating in 5K’s, I realized I didn’t have to be the fastest, the thinnest, or the best…I could compete and be good enough. And it felt really, really good. Perhaps I was holding myself back all these years; afraid to push myself for fear of failure or rejection, or the judging my paranoid brain insisted people were doing. It’s silly, I know…but I wonder how many other friends of mine would admit to the same feelings of inadequacy and insecurity when it comes to physical fitness. It’s a shame I let it happen to me for so long. In a way, I blame my own competitive nature. I’m sure my crazy desire to win and fear of failure kept me from even trying at all.
Considering the Des Moines Half Marathon scares me a bit as well. This time I’ll have no real ‘purpose’ for my run. No cause to raise money for. No inspiring husband to run in honor of. No reason to do it, really, other than because…well…I can. At first I thought that may not be motivation enough to see me through those long training runs on the hot, summer mornings – I mean, surely it won’t be the same as thinking of Matt and how he wishes he could join me…or the thousands of other families whose lives are turned upside down by stroke. I won’t have the knowledge that so many friends and family are supporting my run financially to help keep me putting one foot in front of the other. I won’t have the thrill of a fun-filled trip to Orlando to help fuel me in those final training runs. I won’t have anything…but me…well, and maybe a little Rocky.

Comments

dmvflunkee said…
Em,

I am going on my first "run" with a friend of mine tomorrow. She is going to "teach" me how to run. You have inspired me and I really want to learn to love to run. I have been sooo lazy the last 8 years since Ahnika was born. Excuse after excuse for why I continued to get fatter. I looked at myself in a full length mirror last weekend and realized how far I had let myself go. So I hope to be able to not only learn to run but learn to love to run. Wish me luck!!

Popular posts from this blog

Carrie Anne - The Beginning of the Story

So, I’ve been trying to sort out how to start this story. It’s been difficult to articulate. Difficult to pick which details to share, and which to hold close. But it’s a story too good, too beautiful, not to share – so here goes! When Matt and I first became parents, we thought our family was complete. We envisioned raising Ethan surrounded by loving friends and family – just the two of us. Given all that we had gone through to finally become parents, we felt content with just the one child. The most adorable boy in the whole wide world. Our Ethan was the apple of our eyes – the most amazing gift. We marveled at all of his accomplishments, soaked up all his love and personality, and celebrated the joy of parenthood at every exhausting, wonderful turn. Along the way, we’ve built a strong and loving relationship with Ethan’s birthmother. We visit yearly, and stay in close contact with pictures, emails, and texts. I have attempted to describe my feelings for her many times over the co…

Carrie - The Wait and the Big Arrival!

We arrived in Florida midday Saturday and made our way to the hospital where we met up with Ethan’s birthmother and her mother. We spent a long afternoon in the waiting room while the doctors and nurses put L through a myriad of tests. Finally, they verified the need to induce labor and proceeded to admit her to the hospital with plans to start the induction process Sunday. Exhausted, we left to check in at the hotel and ate what we thought may be our last supper before the baby came…but…. Sunday we arrived at the hospital mid-morning to see how things were progressing. The nurses gave L a medication to help start the dilation process around 12:30 PM…and told us it would likely take 12 hours for things to progress. We stepped out to enjoy the Florida sunshine for lunch for a bit, then settled in for the long haul at the hospital. We spent all afternoon, evening, and night together – holding watch over L as she slept. As we sat there, listening to the baby’s heart beating on the monit…

I may as well tell you...

I had a miscarriage. I’ve debated for weeks whether or not to acknowledge it publicly. It’s such a personal thing…and this is such a public medium. But a few months have gone by and I’m no closer to feeling ok about it and truly nothing else on my mind really compares, so here I am, letting the world in on my secret. Over the past few weeks I’ve found very little comfort in the fact that only a small handful of people know about the miscarriage. It became nearly unbearable this week, during all our wonderful family Christmas celebrations. Being surrounded by so many people who love me and support me and have no idea how my heart has been broken – it’s a lonely place to be. Not that I would want them all to bombard me with pity or questions or sad looks in their eyes – I realize I can’t have it both ways. But a little acknowledgement goes a long way and I simply can’t ignore or deny the fact that something major happened in my life and impacted me, impacts me still.
It was a warm, sunn…