I run. I suppose people might call me a runner. I certainly have a drawer full of race t-shirts. There are a few finishers medals hanging on the back of this chair that I am sitting on – including my Marathon medal.
How do you know if someone has done a marathon? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.
I don’t think that I have got to the official status of “runner” yet. But that is a mindset, right? I am not fast, and I can’t do ultra marathon distances. I try to get out there three times a week and at least do a 5k each time. Usually something comes up and I miss one. But I try.
When I am running and I want to just stop, I run through in my mind some of the reasons why I do it. I run because I know that there are people who can’t and would give anything to be able to. I run to keep my beer belly at bay. I run to clear my head. I run because it is the thing that I do on Tuesdays. I run to sweat. I run to feel alive.
So what have I learned in all this running? I have learned that to run, you have to want to run. There are people who force themselves to run so that they can hit some dream weight. Or so that their ass will look great. Every step for them is a chore. Every time they lace up their shoes they want to cry.
Well, those people shouldn’t be running. They should find something else that they like to do with their time. There are a myriad of thing that we can do with our bodies to feel good.
I have learned that making a commitment to do something, makes you more likely to do it. I ran the marathon this year, mostly because I had told everyone I knew that I was going to do it. I wasn’t properly prepared, but my sheer bloody mindedness drove me through it. I had told everyone else, and in doing o I had persuaded myself that this was something I could do. I didn’t train properly, but it didn’t kill me. I finished. I didn’t finish fast, but I made it to the end without stopping. My wife was there at the finish line. I was overcome with emotion as I passed under the finishing gantry and almost cried. I felt amazing. Just because I did a thing that I had said I was going to do.
This morning I got up at 6:30 (on a Sunday!) and went and ran 15k. I didn’t really want to, I was exhausted, my right hip hurt from sleeping on a floor on Friday night. But goddamit I had told people I was going to, so I did it. And you know what? It was no problem. It was fun. There were musicians all along the route playing music to keep us all going. I got to high five a bunch of people. I got given a wet sponge at the end by a hot girl in lycra.
I did it because I won’t be the person who can’t.
I think someone cleverer than most of us said “Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right”.
So, running has taught me that I can do whatever I say I can. And I will take photo and blog about it just to make sure that the world knows.
What can you do, just because you say you can?