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.


dmvflunkee said…

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

I Was Born in a Small Town

So we’ve decided to move. We love Ankeny, our house, and our neighborhood so it’s a little bittersweet to think about moving, but ever since Ethan came along - oh how things have changed. When we set out to build a wheelchair friendly house for Matt nearly 9 years ago, we were mainly focused on the functionality inside the house. While of course we wanted the ease and function of zero grade entry, we also yearned for the freedom he would know in a house with wider doorways and room to maneuver the bulky chair. In our old house there were literally rooms he never went into, simply because he couldn’t get through. Our Ankeny home was a dream come true in so many ways. And it was lovingly planned out and put together by so many incredibly generous and thoughtful people. We were humbled time and time again with how things came together for us in that house. I’ll never forget coming home for the first time with Matt after our long, exhausting trip back from China. It was late, we were jet …

Where We're at…Right Now

This whole adoption thing is tough stuff, friends. It is a roller coaster ride like no other. And I have to be honest – I’m still not sure this will be it for us. I want to believe it is…but I’m just.not.sure. Matt and I were on our way to church yesterday, listening to the 90’s station when the cult classic ‘Achy Breaky Heart’ came on. We both giggled…and may have turned it up a tad. Near the end we both howled out a woooo-woooo in near perfect, spontaneous, unison with dear mullet headed Billy Ray. It made me laugh instantly and I blurted out ‘we’re so perfect together’. And honestly – we are.
That thought stuck with me all morning.  We.are.perfect.together.  What we have – our marriage, our friendship, our devotion and commitment to each other….they are priceless. Our union is a blessing. It is blessed. 100% meant to be. No doubt in my mind. There is no one on this planet who could ever know me like Matt. We have been through hell and back together. In the hospital, shortly after his …

Mother's Day Emotions

Mother’s Day weekend is coming and I’m finding myself all sorts of emotional – go figure. I think the anticipation of how I might feel on my very first Mother’s Day after so many years of hoping, waiting, and wondering sort of made it a bit anticlimactic. Or maybe I guarded my heart a little and didn’t fully let the magnitude of my emotions wash over me. Regardless, I find myself MUCH more emotional this time around.
Last night we watched a TV show about children growing up and moving out etc…and I actually cried. All those jerks who told me how fast children grow and how quickly the time moves…were right. Of course I feel how swiftly time moves the older I get…I blinked and now I’m in my (gulp) 40’s. But I simply could not have fathomed how I would feel about the amount of time I have to be Ethan’s mother. It feels finite. Fleeting. Just not enough.
Don’t get me wrong, I love watching Ethan grow! He is learning and changing and cracking me up all the time. He loves climbing, and runn…