Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Running" an experiment.

Since my last post, I stepped WAAAAY outside my comfort zone and opened myself up to opinions, judgements, and comments (sometimes supportive, sometimes skeptical, or simply shocked) by announcing my personal goal of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. I am not fast. Yet. I do not look like a runner. Yet. I do not have a lot of time to train. Who does? It is amazing to me, to watch people run or bike in my neighborhood. I truly respect the individuals who have the drive to become and maintain athletic abilities beyond what I know. When others see me trotting down the bike path I look less than impressive when compared to the those who share my exercise venue. BUT--I like a great come-back story, and I often cheer for the underdog. So why not me, the working mom of 3, less-than-competative jogger, who once had a day in world of athletics?

The human mind contains unmeasurable power, many people agree on this. But how far can our minds take us, realistically, in every day life? When I was younger and less "damaged" by life's blows, I believed we could simply chose what we wanted, and make it happen. What happened after that? Life. And after that? Nothing. I quit trying, reaching, and growing. I went to college and got my degree/job. The end. I completed a few marathons slowly. The end. I had 3 kids. Well... that's a never ending story. Bottom line, everything I dreamed of as a kid, happened. Who can complain about that? Not me. But why did I stop dreaming?

Dara Torres makes a point in her book, Age is Just A Number, when she says that often times people give up on themselves when they become middle-aged. This needs not be so. More experienced are we middle-agers? Yes. Have all of those experiences been pleasant? No. Can difficult and unpleasant experiences make us stronger, smarter, and better? Absolutely. Not just physically, but mentally, and spiritually as well. Dara Torres among other athletes have proven that with hard work and sacrifice we can be strong. I want to be strong. But I also want to be smart. And I want to remember where I came from and where I am going and why I am here on Earth experiencing life to its fullest.

So goes the experiment: Running. I will continue putting forth my best physical effort toward my goal of achieving an official Boston qualifying time at a full marathon (2011?). I will read and learn and grow mentally as I study the best way to do so, in my middle-aged state. I will research and apply what I have found. And I will share these things with you. Whoever you are. Then, and most importantly, I will apply my experience in running, training, and ultimately qualifying to who I am and where I am going spiritually. This part may bore or even scare some readers away. That's okay. I don't just run to be stronger and smarter. I want to be better--and better, in my opinion, is on the inside.

Stronger: I'm losing the weight. I started with 15 pounds to lose, and I am down 1.5 this week. I ran every day I was scheduled, even my long run on Saturday. And although life happened, I got it done at 9:30pm. Better late than never. I also got a few days of strength training and extra walking at nights. Cardiovascularly, I'm doing better as well. It still takes me 2-3 miles to warm up, but once I do I feel like I could go forever. But I'm still slower than I need to be.

Smarter: I read Age is Just A Number and am still reading Racing Weight. I am learning how important it is to live for the goal. Everything we eat or watch or dream of, potentially has an effect on the ultimate goal. I started thinking positive, and actually dreamed of achieving it. I can't wait for it to happen in reality!

Better: Dania and I were teasing about how "muscle memory" works. Specifically, how now my muscles don't automatically reach for the cookies like they used to--I reach for building foods ;-) Same goes spiritually. Less of the remote, and more of the scriptures. I love to find messages that seem to pop out and inspire me stretch and grow each day.

Putting one foot in front of the other,


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