I'm not quite sure what the word for it is yet, but it has to do with adaptation and change and growth. After returning from Argentina, whenever I was invited to go somewhere or do something I just kept saying yes. I wanted to say no but it was as if I had suddenly forgotten how to make what I was really thinking come out of my mouth. This did however allow me to have a lot of material for when I entertain people. For example when I went speed-dating what got me through it was knowing that I could tell a great story one day and make someone laugh so hard they might pee their pants. It's possible that subconsciously that is why I kept saying yes to everything, but I doubt it.
While I was in my "saying yes" phase (yes, it ended up just being a phase, no need to worry) I committed to a few things I never thought I would do. One of those was to run a half marathon. I know it's not as great as a full marathon, but it's still pretty great. J asked me in February to run it with her in June. I started "training" very slowly and once school was out I took it a little more seriously. You know how annoying it is when you talk to a runner and they say things like "I can't live without it", "I'm addicted to running", "It helps me forget about my problems" and "It's such a release from all the pressures around me" and also "I like to wear bananas around my neck and put honey in my pants while I'm running"--you know? SO annoying. Well I became one of those people. I wore bananas and put honey in my pants. Kill me. I told very few people that I was running a marathon for exactly that reason. Runners are annoying. So when the day came, a total of 4 people knew I was running.
We had to be at the "bus station" (there are way too many quotation marks in this post) at 3 a.m. in order to be to the start point on time. I was feeling pretty adequate standing there in my runner get up. They have various amenities for runners at the starting line because we arrive in the wee hours of the morning. Here is a small list of what was provided:
fire in trash barrels
port a potty-in it's various shapes and sizes
logs for sitting
I had a time to beat but J had injured herself and was planning on taking it a little slower so we agreed to split up. I went to the starting line for the full "I'm in a race" feeling, put my ear buds in and turned on my jam. Did you know they actually shoot a gun to start the race? I like to say it's a real gun. So, ready, set, gun, and go.
Now, my engrossed readers, this marathon was mostly downhill. This allowed gravity to take effect in the times when I thought I might keel over. The first 6 miles felt really good. Strong, powerful and well trained. And then came the latter half of the half marathon. For about 2 miles I felt pain in every particle of my body. I tried to pump up my jam (you're welcome 80's babies) but it didn't help much.
At this point I began to come to terms with the fact that I may not reach my goal. I had settled in to taking a higher time and being semi-pleased with myself.
I then realized that I was a lone runner on that course. There were runners maybe a hundred feet ahead of and behind me but for a while there it was just me. I realized that I didn't have any thing or person to push me. I thought gravity would be my friend but let me tell you what I discovered: you can fight gravity's push pretty easily. Reality smacked me on the butt at this time, making me realize that if I was going to finish this marathon it would be up to my own devices.
Remember when I had settled for that higher time? That was me letting go and waiting for a push to come behind and shove. From where you may ask; and I say I do not know. Somehow I have become accustomed to slacking and then having someone or something push me over the finish line. Well lesson #1 in marathon running: NO ONE is there to push you. You have to push yourself.
I know you are hanging off that cliff I just built. This should relieve you.
I finished. You can too.