Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Challenge Yourself

There are times in life when you need to show yourself "you can do better".  10 years later, I am finishing the race I never started.  Nobody wants to be a quitter; somewhere in me, I never wanted to give up.

As a senior in high school working at a fitness gym part time, I made a commitment I never finished.  We agreed as a gym to sign up and train for the PF Changs Half Marathon (I remember it was only around $75 back then!).  To train, I joined Cross Country at school.  Why I would sign myself up for a sport my senior year, I'm not quite sure.  I remember we ran after school in the hot summer months (year round school) while our coaches road in a truck alongside us.  They were supposed to be encouraging us, but I remember feeling pretty bitter and wishing for shade as we ran to the hospital and back and they rode by.

Turns out, I was not that good at Cross Country... I was actually literally slower than a girl with a sprained ankle.  I remember her telling me how upset she was that her ankle slowed her down and me quietly thinking "slowed you down?? I'm dying here at this pace..."  Considering that aside from Elementary School, I had never really run more than the mile you were forced to do in JR. High P.E. (band got me out of P.E. in HS), I was probably doing pretty well in hindsight (I guess - I was still slower than the girl with a sprained ankle).

Either way, I ended up quitting Cross Country before our first race and the fitness gym team and I never ran the half marathon (I think I was the only one who committed enough to actually pay).  I'm really unsure of my logic and how 13.1 miles sounded like a good idea at that point in my life, but I haven't forgotten the fact that I never did the race.  Every January since then, I have thought about this race I never did.  In fact, I have been in the mall shopping when a bunch of finishers came in and the store clapped for them.  Talk about guilt, here I am shopping and they just ran the race that I never even made it to the starting line for.

So 10 years later, I am finishing the race I never started.  I feel stronger, more confident, and have been pushing myself to new limits.  I don't want to be a quitter, and whether it has taken me 10 years to actually sign up again and commit to complete this race, I will finish.

I was crazy enough to sign up for a full marathon too on my birthday...but that's another story.  Let's start with the half, because I have to be able to do a half twice in order to do a full.  And this is just the beginning...