Running from myself

I recently published my 2013 wellness vision and goals. In 2013 I am stretching my comfort zone. Living in my comfort zone too long is not a good thing. Moving outside of the zone grows me in many ways.

My most ambitious goal is running my first half marathon, an unexpected goal for sure. I am a poor runner; a fact I cannot escape. I ran for the first time last year with a goal to finish a 5K. I actually ran six 5Ks. Slow describes my finish times, usually around 39-42 minutes. I often say I am glacially slow.

Running is a sport. Like other sports, it requires the runner to devote time and passion to the sport. My dilemma is that cycling consumes my time and passion. Running will never overshadow my passion for cycling. I need to nurture my running goals by giving them the attention and time they need.

I do not have a runner’s body. My short stocky stature, age, and no history of running conspire against me. My biggest challenge is convincing brain and body that I can make it. It is not just about allocating time and having passion to run. It is about being in the correct mental state and listening to my body. My pal Chuck reminds me of that often.

Putting the finishing touches on my goals, I immediately registered for the Akron Marathon half marathon. I knew enough about myself to know that once I paid for it, I would have to follow through and run. It is now staring at me; daring me to take the challenge.

baIMG_1488Recently, I found me comparing myself to others. I know bariatric patients who regularly complete marathons and half marathons. I began thinking that this goal is really pretty lame. I came to realize that this is the same bad behavior I had to shake during my weight loss journey. Comparing myself to others and their progress was self-defeating then, still is and will always be self-defeating.

Running from myself is what I am doing. I am running from the self-doubt I have imposed on my physical abilities over the years. I am running from the limits I have mentally placed on my body when it can do much more. I am running from perceived failure when I know I can work hard to succeed.

Quirky is the word that comes to mind when I think about the role running plays in my life. It is unusual to begin running this late in life. My running style is definitely strange. It is odd to make a half marathon the centerpiece goal for 2013 when my life revolves around cycling and not running.

I am fortunate to have a great friend Chuck who is an avid runner. He helped me attain my running goals last year. He is sure to play a central part in making my half marathon a reality. It is Chuck’s support and the support of my running friends that keep me running towards the goal.

Running away usually involves avoiding a problem or situation. I have a history of running away from sports. Today, I am running away from the ghosts and shadows that reinforced that behavior. John “The Penguin” Bingham, the runner and author who inspires me through his books, sums it up well.

“Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself.” – John Bingham

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1 Comment

  1. Benita Z. Chaney February 16, 2013 at 3:01 am

    What’s my point? Well, mostly is that you need to have your own fitness journey. Don’t worry or focus on what others are doing. What’s healthy for you, isn’t necessarily for the next person. We all have to be our own people. Just because it seems like everyone is running a half marathon/marathon or cross fitting doesn’t mean you need to worry about hopping on that train. Enjoy life. Enjoy your family. Do what makes you HAPPY, really HAPPY. Not what you pretend makes you happy.


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