“It’s that time of year again. Yeah, I know I said that I’d sign up for the marathon next year, which is this year, which is what I have said every year since that thing came to town. Stupid traffic jam of an event that makes me so darn mad at all those grown men skipping along like children on a playground in their reflective gear, high fiving each other at the finish line with arms raised.”
“Why don’t you do it?”
“I can’t. Not this year. You know, I’ve got work and the kids and my sister is getting married this summer, I mean, it’s just easier not to, right?
“I know, I know, I saw the sign in the gym they are going to start those weekly group runs again from the park, right next to the house, and I distinctly remember seeing it last year and I promised myself that I’d do it this year. Alright! That’s it! The time has come! I am drawing a line in the sand and… but no, what was I thinking it must have been that day we came back from Sierra Nevada. I had to be a little loose in my decision making to propose a 26 mile race, I mean, me? 26 miles? Yeah right!”
“No, No, No.. This year was supposed to be different. Well, the race is July 29th, so that gives me just about 24 weeks to train for this thing? Hmmm… I mean, is that even enough time? Most the programs I searched last year were like 18-22 week programs but is that a beginner program or what? Maybe I need 50 weeks, perhaps I should just wait until next year when I am more prepared. Yeah, I will run a 5K again this summer instead. Oh, I don’t know it’s just easier to do it next year I suppose. Besides, who am I kidding? Right? A Marathon.
If you can relate? Then read on…
April. 2008. I am watching the Boston Marathon from my computer screen on UniversalSports.com. Working. Yes, working on getting fired. I watched as Lance Armstrong was running in his debut Boston Marathon and the announcers repeatedly reported on his progress as the leaders ahead began their assault on the Newton Hills approaching Boston. This was just another day at the office, another day of the same broken promises mentioned above. Another day that I snoozed the button past the gym to barely make it to work on time feeling fully donutized and slightly caffeinated.
Yet this wasn’t just another day. Something was different this Spring day, something profound came out of the 13 inch laptop screen amidst and between the horrible bandwidth pausing of the live streaming video, a less comfortable comfort zone beckoned, a path of more resistance resonated. From this, I could not be undone, I was pregnant, not conceived with a child but conceived with a thought. I certainly looked nearing my 2nd trimester but this was a different kind of splash being made on my water break near the water cooler at work. This was the drowning of my old ways and the birth of a new.
Clear as day, I said to myself almost as if possessed, “I will run the Boston Marathon next year and beat Lance Armstrong.” Hmmm.. beat Lance Armstrong seemed a bit harsh and not to mention difficult so I lightened the ambitious, idealistic load and said, “I will run past Lance Armstiong near the beginning of the race but perhaps not finish ahead of him.” Somehow in this soap opera script writing I deemed the goal worthy enough to confidently tell my kids that I had passed the 7-time tour de france winner only to be re-passed by him in the later miles.
Where’s this going? Only one place it can… 2010 Boston. I had arrived. Now 40lbs lighter and fueled with passion and integrity. The kind of integrity described as.. Not only am I going to do what I tell you; but also what I tell myself. There is no disconnect when “no one is looking.” Massive action. Massive action towards a goal with Grandma’s money. The key to it all was accountability for me. How did I become accountable you ask? I took Grandma’s money, well asked for a donation and allocated it towards the fundraising effort that also said I was going to run a marathon. As the mercury rose, I had no choice but to run because friends, relatives, coworkers, and ex-coworkers all donated to my cause. They believed in me until I could believe in myself.
My advice to you reading this… Sign up. Pick a cause. Raise Money. The running will just happen just like your life will keep on going the same as it did yesterday unless you dare to take a stand and get disgusted. Get angry. And most importantly get started… See you at the start-line of The San Francisco Marathon 2012.