Pardon me while I wander here for a moment. Guess who I got to speak with today?! Molly!! You remember Molly right? Well, she finished her hike. We had an amazing conversation today about her trip, the people she met, and about the Universe. We agreed that the Universe is always sending you exactly who you need in your life when you need them. Which leads me to half-marathon training.
I have some awesome people in my life. I posted on Facebook that I was looking to complete (vice compete) in a half-marathon and I have several friends that have offered to support and/or complete it with me. This is mind blowing to me for a whole host of reasons, but let’s start with the biggest one; these friends who have offered are the ones who are experiencing their own struggles with their own battles. From their own (publicly well-documented) weight struggles to parents with cancer to the military breaking them in various ways, they have all stepped up and said yes.
Every day I am thankful for those people who have come into my life in strange and unique ways. Each and every one of them have touched my heart in a special way. They are stronger than they know, braver than you can believe, and most importantly they are kind. Gay, straight, veteran, man, woman, rich, poor, I love them all for their uniqueness. These folks are there, walking, running, challenging themselves and me in the process. We may be broken individually, but together we are strong.
While I can’t say I am looking forward to the pain, I know that I have the support of some amazing people. Let the count down to the VA Beach half marathon begin. Just finish. Don’t care how slow or fast, just finish.
Equal Opportunity always existed in Upstate New York. Woodstove needed firewood and you were old enough and it was your turn (or in my case as an only child it was always my turn) then you went to go get it. Power goes out because of an ice storm and you have to haul buckets of water from the creek across the road to flush the toilets, then you go. I wasn’t pushing myself as much as I was being pushed. There wasn’t an option to not do something. Well..there was, but that came with consequences that were much more unpleasant than just doing them in the first place.
My Dad use to say (in various funny accents) that if I did things they would “Make you strong like bull.” Or my personal favorite, “Puts hair on your chest.” It didn’t matter how much I protested that I was a girl and I didn’t want hair on my chest, off I was sent. If you ever saw my Dad you’d know why I was so very worried that this could actually happen.
I guess it is those phrases that have kept me going and focused for a number of years. I’ve always been a female in a male dominated world. Probably a good thing I had “hair on my chest” as being one of the first enlisted females on a Navy ship in the mid-90s took a thick skin.
During my Grand Adventure I logged a lot of hiking miles; some days a little over 10. Then the weekend after I came home I went and did an 11.44 mile paddle. I started thinking, if I can paddle nearly 12 miles then what is preventing me from doing a half marathon. My arms are not nearly as strong as my legs and I’m pulling along an extra nearly 100 pounds (between the weight of my kayak, Perry, and my gear) so even with buoyancy I’m making up for the difference.
I’ve rolled this around in my brain for a couple of weeks now and I finally decided that I’m going to push myself. I will never be the fastest (or the prettiest) crossing the finish line, but dagnabbit I am going to do one. I’ve decided that I am going to do the Run Like A Diva Half Marathon in Virginia in a month. I am going to use that as my baseline. Then, I’m going to register for another half marathon in 6 months and then next year do the Run Like A Diva again. I want to see my improvement. I want to push myself; even if the voice in my head isn’t my own. “Do it! Do it! It will put hair on your chest.” (Just don’t tell the boys that it’s there…..)