I thought we would be together for much longer. I've thought about you all week. Wanting desperately to spend some time with you when I was at the end of my rope. To just step outside and pick up where we left off. You and I have been companions for over 35 years. I'm not sure who I am without you to step into. So much of whom I am is you. Insecurity could always be eased by a few more miles. One more challenge. One more race. Pushing a little more, a little more, a little more. When the world has fallen apart, we could always jump some hurdles, run a marathon, take on those earthly hills. I love you, running. What happens when I can't push anymore. When my limbs are rebelling against my drive. My joints are raging mad. When I've pushed them right to that edge.
I didn't think the Ragnar Relay would be my last distance running event. I thought it would be a fun way to keep my going as I chose to put all personal training down to take on the new role of homeschool mom. An efficient way to drop all of my sugar-seeking winter weight. I had it perfectly planned out. That's not the way it went. Unexpectedly sideways. I wasn't expecting shooting sciatic pain. A calf that frequently went numb. A lower back that just wouldn't cooperate. A hamstring that would not chill out. The new grinding in the hip from bearing the brunt of the compensating work from my bad knee. A leg that literally did not have full range of motion some days. I hit the wall of the 40+ in one fell swoop. Twice weekly chiropractic visits just to fix what I jacked up during those training runs. Just to make it to the start line. Palliative care. What the heck?
The first leg of my relay was pretty okay, even if I did get passed up ing a guy running in a full-on horse costume. The adrenaline carried me so much better than I was anticipating. That second leg, though. Hips to knees. It starts. Here comes the rust....and buckling and swelling. That small, teeny, little three mile third leg. I ran until the pain made me nauseous. Then I cried and yelled at my body and pushed to the brutal and beautiful finish. Then I had a good cry over what I didn't really think would come to stay. Limitations. Physical limitations. They're just obstacles to overcome, yes? All the time, right? Running has always been an escape, a release, a compensator for all of my lack. Disclosure. I'm not fast. I've never been fast or a super athlete. It's not like I'm even giving up something I'm any good at. Seriously. It's simply coming to terms with not being able to do something. A smidge of John Locke. "Don't tell me what I can't do!!" But even he had the island. I'm such a big baby. These are such small things. I know that. Some of you wondering what screw could be loose that I don't grab that excuse to not do these crazy things anymore.
Evidence of worth. Something to prove.
Still. Striving. Still. At 41. Still.
Fighting without my usual arsenal.
That's the latest challenge.
I could push past not being the intelligent one. Push past not being the creative one. Push past not being the pretty one. Push past not being the educated one. Push past not being the accomplished one. Push past not being............................Now what? How I am wrestling again with God. Relearning all the things I should know by now. All the truths and lies and nonsense. And asking if I believe all the things for me that I believe for others. And asking forgiveness for my ridiculousness. Because I know it's ridiculousness.
Still. When I can no longer push past. When my body says no more.
Who am I? And why do I always get stuck in this place? Stay tuned.
No, I'm not crying at Starbucks. You're the ridiculous one crying at Starbucks over running!