About two weeks ago, for one of the first prompted journal entries of the healthy living journey my sister-in-law and I are hosting, was to list your positive qualities.
I spent that whole day thinking about what I would write down.
I only came up with one word:
I can’t count anymore how many times someone has told me I am wrong, when I was certain I was right, that I would fail, when I knew that I couldn’t live if I didn’t try regardless of that certainty, that it was a hopeless fight but I kept arguing, that I was going down the wrong path even though I was sure beyond a doubt that we were fixed on the same destination…
Lots of these occasions, I can admit, were mundane. But many were downright formative.
And tonight’s run was a perfect illustration of all that history.
I didn’t run this morning, I prefer to run before work, but decided to see what it would be like going into my office really early and thus get out early.
I’ve been having a rough week or so (I was shaken up pretty bad by the tragic death of a runner in Montana, cousin to a blogger that I adore), beginning with restless sleep and nightmares, some binge eating (pizza, oreo’s, you know, the typical go-to-fare), and some slacking off of my typical routine (house work? nah. Stretching? nope), the conclusion of which was feeling like a giant turd today (technical term).
This evening the weather is windy, snowy, slippery, and raw…so particularly smart, or safe, running condition by the lake. So I went to the gym to use a treadmill.
My schedule said 6 miles, here’s the garmin splits…which I will narrate below (cause it’s not pretty, but there’s a lesson there kids):
Mile 1: My body feels cumbersome, stiff, and resistant in general. I keep thinking about Sherry Arnold, and about how horrible a person I am for watching, and enjoying “Criminal Minds” and similar shows…I vow for the hundredth time this week to never watch it again. I think about using my next paycheck to buy pepper spray, a doberman, and kung-fu lessons. I feel like an idiot for thinking like that. Then think about how BAD running feels at that moment, and grieve for when it feels so perfect.
I stop running and stare at the blank monitor attached for the treadmill for about 2 minutes…then start up again.
Mile 2: I force my focus to my audio-book and get downright PISSED when the author, for the 4th time uses “autistic” as an adjective. I turned off my ipod in protest. Feel like an idiot. Realize my shoes are uncomfortable and get PISSED because for $120 these shoes should feel like f-ing satin sheets and worlds best relaxation massage…or like nothing at all, which would be preferable. Fume. Fume. Fume. Realize I have to pee, and am angry about that as well.
I stop again. Stretch, rather lamely. Get on a different treadmill. It’s broken. Get on yet a different treadmill. Go. Stop.
Decide to go home.
Remember I put $3 in the meter. Get mad about wasting money because my pennies are rubbing together pretty hard. Go again. Stop. Fuss with my shoes. Go. Again.
Mile 3: I mother-f-ing-hate-running-and-I hate-you-super-fast-and-beautiful-woman-on-the-machine-next-to-me-and-I-especially-hate-you-for-watching-teen-mom-2-what-the-hell-is-wrong-with-you?!?!?!? Then, I immediately feel remorse for thinking like a such a judgmental and self-deprecating A-hole. I decide that if I can just finish 3 miles, then that is good enough, and I can just go home and finish the oreo’s because I didn’t throw them away on Sunday against my better judgment.
I make it to the 3 mile mark. Go to the locker room. Pee. Walk in circles. Sit down. I don’t like not making my mileage goals. My body feels off, but I begin to recognize that it’s because 1) I ate like a pig all weekend 2) My period just started 3) I have been self-taking like I want to de-rail myself, and 4) I wasn’t trying.
So I decide I should try.
And if I am going to try, I might as well DO.
You know, like Yoda says.
So, I start walking back up to the cardio floor, chin up like I haven’t already just been there. I step onto my 4th treadmill of the run attempt and picture what it will look like, and feel like to run a 3hr15min marathon.
Mile 4: I cue up one of my favorite Spin Class playlists and keep thinking about running a 3:15 marathon. And, I think about seeing my nephew for his 5th birthday in just a month, and going for a long run in nice weather while I am there. I think about running Boston in April, I day-dream about hitting 3:15 then.
Mile 5: I begin thinking I am capable of that 3:15. And I hang onto that thought like it is life itself. I stop attending at all to the other people around me (sardines…it’s still January, afterall)
Mile 6: My head is finally coming out of my ass, and I am feeling just a bit like myself again, like the person I am trying to be, the effective, capable, and strong person I know I am, even if I backslide now and them. And so I go for it, because every mile counts!
Mile 7: this split is there because I forgot to hit “stop” and walked down the stairs.
In the end, I salvaged my run and was reminded that I might not be able to come up with a long list of things I am proud to say I am, but what I do come up with is accurate.
And above all my faults, I am tenacious.