Wednesday, October 28, 2009

run it

Last night I had my third running class. 3 down, 7 to go. woohoo...

After the first week was too easy, I switched groups from 'basic intermediate' to 'intermediate'. I really must be on the cusp because while that first class was easy peasy, my new class pushes me to my limit. And then some.

It reminds me of gym class. Or any sport I ever played. Or that memorable effing Field Day in 8th Grade when I got voted off the team. While humiliating, it was truly a relief to be removed from the team by a jury of my peers. Because then I could stop embarrassing myself and causing our team to lose by dropping eggs off of spoons, scoring baskets for the wrong team, missing the baton hand off in a relay, and whatever else I did in my attempt to be an athlete.

Yes, my running class reminds me of all of these times that I felt inadequate, lagged behind the rest of the group, and singlehandedly made my team lose in an athletic event. This happened quite often throughout my life and put a huge damper on sports in my mind.

Did you read that right? I said in my mind. I thought about it too much and too seriously. Never enjoyed the game, the fun, the camaraderie because I was too busy worrying about how stupid I looked. I was uber self conscious and aware of how completely uncoordinated and lamespice I was.

I found this quote a few months ago and may or may not have previously posted it on Own It... "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well. " ~Pierre de Coubertin

In my running class I am reminded of those times in my life when I had trouble keeping up with the group physically, and when I would mentally give up (and physically give up whenever I was allowed). But as of today I am owning it. I've been owning it with my running since February and I am so proud. I run to be physically fit and to challenge myself. I run because I can. So many of my patients would kill to be able to run (or walk). I run because I am grateful for my life and for my health. I don't want to look back one day and think "why was I so sedentary? why didn't I just get out there and use the life in me?"

It should come as no surprise that I am the very last runner in my group. Yep, I'm the slowest. I spend all 4 miles trying to keep up and not get left behind. Last week I ran right behind an old man with white hair (maybe 65-70 years old?) until the end of class when he smoked me. I told myself that "hey I may not be able to keep up with these young whippersnappers in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, but at least I can run like a 70 year old". Apparently I was mistaken. I don't run like anybody but me. Yesterday that old man was in a faster group...and I missed him... like the desert missed the rain.

"The most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle". Well, I'm struggling with my running. But I do think it is important in my life and so it is worth the struggle. Sort of reminds me of a book Lovey has been telling me about, the Kosher Sutra, living in the now and embracing the tension of life.

Also, I bought new kicks last night. I ascribe to self-bribery tactics. If shopping for sneakers gets me on my feet and moving... how can I not?


Lovey said...

This has to be, BY FAR, one of my favorite posts!!! It is definitely in the top 3!!! Really inspiring Uptown Girl, thanks!

Amber W. said...

Good work! Your post definitely makes me want to do better with my own fitness goals. Such an inspiration!

JennyMac said...

Bravo...and love the new shoes. :)I just bought my first pair of Saucony's. LOVE them.

Jess said...

I always felt the same way about sports in school. I'd pray for games to be canceled so I wouldn't have to endure the embarrassment. I started running a couple years ago and it's the first sport I actually like. If I ran with a group I'm sure I'd be last, which is why I don't run with a group. It's just me. I don't have to worry about letting other people down or looking funny or coming in last. I just put on my shoes and my iPod and go. I hope you find the same solace in running. Make it yours and don't give another thought to those faster folks.

Laura said...

Running class...urgh-makes me feel like I should exersice...

june cleaver said...

Well, I for one am completely against this display of heavy breathing and sweat!


I can't even look at you.

rita said...

I'm with you, June. The thought of running scares me. I mean, I broke my ankle just walking!

The totally uncoordinated thing doesn't have a thing to do with it.

M-Cat said...

Wanted to stop over and first thank you for you fun comment, but then since I'm always on the look out for fun, witty blogs, decided I would stay awhile and blurk about. Yes, that was me, sorry.

Love it! You are a fun girl, and I now have a new great blog to follow!


Uptown Girl said...

I'm happily surprised that this inspired so many ppl... (besides June and Rita that is).

Welcome M-Cat!