Thursday, April 15, 2010

Folly and the Secret Weapon

In mental battles with myself, I tend to lose.

Be it “don’t eat that cookie” or “really, clean the bathtub already”, or “have you ever noticed you’re shaped like a pyramid? Or a Thomas’ English muffin…’bigger on the bottom/smaller on the top’”, I invariably succumb to the battle inside.

Somehow I thought I would outgrow this. Somehow I imagined that after the Fest o’ Insecurity that was my teen/college years I would emerge as a confident, outgoing, accomplished person.

I’m not sure why I thought I would stop being ME, but I kind of hoped it would happen.

A lot of years have gone by since the Fest, and it’s hard to pinpoint whether the things I hoped to do and haven’t are because of circumstances in my life (an easy culprit), or because of Me. Most likely it’s a mix of both.

I have come to see that MOST things in life are a mix. Most things are not black/white, good/bad. Everything is complicated. Except Cadbury mini-eggs. But those can’t really be quantified as a Life Issue.

I found an old diary of mine the other day. I was a little alarmed (and kind of amused) to see the extremes of my teen years spelled out in loopy script. Some entries were funny (I refused to call my first diary a diary, it seemed pretentious, so I referred to it as Book), some were sad (my friend’s little brother died in a freak accident) and some were just …teenish (apparently I have been perfecting Neurotic over a LOT of years). But everything was passionate...even if I did see most things as all the way right, or all the way wrong.

So here, at the brink of Officially Grown Up (only one year left), I have to pick a battle and win it. I just do. Circumstances didn’t kill my passion, they just redirected it. And I am ready to go. Ish.

Maybe I didn’t choose my battle so wisely. Maybe I should have found a crafty or academic kind of mountain to climb…no, I decided on Kilimanjaro. This Saturday, I am going to run the middle section of the Jersey Shore Relay Marathon.

Granted, my great contribution is a measly 4.2 miles. A neighbor who is a hard core runner needs a training run for her next half marathon, so she will do the first 11 miles, and my spouse, also a hard core runner, will do the final 11. I figure they can both go get pedicures or something in the l-o-n-g time it will take me to get down the middle of the oceanfront race course.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time…but then my mental battle began. We only registered a week ago, and the race is SATURDAY. Like, the DAY AFTER TOMORROW!!! YIKES!

I’m not a runner. I have plaguing knee issues, and I am utterly self conscious about how I galumph along (it ain’t pretty). Especially in sports clothing, my physique is, um, Giza-like. I hate how funky you get after running (nasty). I can’t stand how you can run for what seems like an eternity and then realize you’ve gone half a mile. What is that about? I run at glacier speed…seriously, global warming happens faster than I complete a 5K. And now I know it’s supposed to be only 58 degrees and maybe raining on Saturday, which only adds to my misery.

But I do have a secret weapon against the voices in my head that form a continuous refrain of “are you NUTS???”…I have something I hope can carry me through the moments on the course when I don’t feel like I can go farther.

Genna. Rosie. Dave. Sandra. Nora. Gabbie. Drew. Joey. Ann. Siobhan. Emma. Katsie. Julia. Gigi. Arianna. Aidan. Meadow. Ryan. Jenna. Ashley.

The names are my secret weapon.
We are running as part of the NF Endurance Team.

In training today I tried a new system, a run/walk thing that helped my knee and improved my speed by nearly 45 seconds a mile. I only used music, not tv (I run on a treadmill). And when things got hard, I spoke the names…

And you know what? Maybe I DO look like a pyramid with legs. Maybe the IT band brace does make my leg look like an albino sausage. Maybe I am uber-caucasion, sort of a slow motion White Shadow careening along like the Tin Man without his oil. Maybe I am.


Just say the names.

This is one mental battle I refuse to lose.

If it does rain, I will wear a silly SpongeBob hat in honor of our friend Sandy…rain or shine my girls’ faces will be on my shirt…and the names of our friends battling NF. And I will use my Secret Weapon early and often...

Just say the names.

Who knows? Maybe this little 4.2 miles will give me the boost to attempt Everest in September, the Philly Distance Run, a half marathon with hills and everything. We’ll see…anyone wanna be a running buddy?

Regardless of the future, I am determined to win this skirmish against myself…and show my girls that momma’s actions can be louder than the voices in her head.

I just can’t forget to pack myself some post-race mini-eggs…

1 comment:

  1. so proud of you my friend. We all run these battles in little ways, but yours is a BIG way and only you can do it the way you do.
    best of luck and prayers and heart to you.