If you knew me back in the day, you would have never pictured me running a half marathon. I guess having kids and feeling like a blob motivates you more than ever. I am writing this because I just ran my 12th half marathon. ( did I mention this is my first run back in a year after foot surgery) I am sticking to the half because a full is for complete insane people who want to punish their body. I never really care to chase 26.2 miles. After all, who is dumb enough to say, out loud of course, “Oh, heck man, I’m all kinds of crazy into beating the hell out of myself for 18 weeks straight in hopes I don’t kill myself on race day.” Plus, who doesn’t love losing toenails and giving up sleeping on Saturday mornings?…however, I decided to hop on the half marathon training bus…..When I did this, my life was a disaster.
For me this past year, running isn’t about pounding pavement and racking up the miles. Running has been my vehicle to heal. Over all my training weeks and a sh*t load of breakdowns, I found my inner voice. Or should I say I actually listened to what my voice had been telling me for a long time. Running also helped me make decisions, find my heart and somewhat my sanity. I was reconnecting with myself on every run. I had a major foot surgery last August, so after a good 9 months of NO running, this was a major goal for me. I was done with the indoor bikes and cycling classes. I needed my nature. I had a lot going on in this little head of mine.
Watching the sunrise on early morning runs takes your breath away….well what breath you have left at the moment because you decided to hop in with a group that runs 1 minute faster than you and your dying…but you can’t tell them because we are all runners. WHEW….That sentence took my breath away. But really, it allows you to see the beauty of nature and the beauty of life that we too often allow to pass by. Running has really given me a new perspective at all levels. I have also learned that when you come back from a major injury you are not at the level you were before. It takes time, something I am horrible at. I am always ready to dive right back in. My 42-year-old body, felt 42 for the first time.
However, all the pain and the thoughts of not being in shape go away when you step outside for a run. It is very solitary and I enjoy every minute of it. While you are sleeping. Cozy. Warm. In bed. Sigh……
I have to say that after running, a day off messes with my head. It throws my mind in a fit. My body needs the break, but my mind needs the positive thoughts that nature does to it. I do not like rest days, but I try my best to.
The bonus of running…. I found my purpose. A lot of people thought I was crazy at first. I quit a 19 year, great paying, stable, tenure teaching job. I am a teacher and always will be a teacher….But I will not get bullied, have my character and integrity ruined by an incompetent bullying principal. Ever meet that person that thinks they are all that because they are your boss and they can get away with it? That was my nightmare for two years after seventeen amazing years. We won’t talk about my retirement, who needs that anyway? However, we will talk about those runs where I listened to my voice.
While running one day, my inner voice was having a conversation…. “I am going to start my own business. I want to be a life coach and take my program “Live In Confidence” to middle schools and businesses. I want to work with people to make life better.” Guess what? I am certified, I have started my own business, I am building my speaking program and I am all kinds of terrified…But onward I go…That jackas* that bullied me, simply made me see that life could be much better. I put my wings on and I am flying. And of course still running.
All in all, this past year has been amazing. It was a strong reminder to: Be grateful, stay present, set your life up the way you want to, leap off a cliff. Love every single second of the time you have on this planet. Oh, and maybe train better for my next half.
How about you?