I ran my first race today. 6.2 miles came and went under my feet and I accomplished one of the major goals I set for myself this year. I plan on completing and surpassing even more over the next forty-plus weeks before I turn 35 but this was a sweet reward and a wonderful beginning. My time was just over my goal of 12 minutes per mile (it turned out to be something like 12:30 min/mile) and I know that next time I do a 10K the time will be better. And there will be a next time. In fact, I’m thinking of maybe doing not only another 10K in the next few months, but maybe even try a half marathon as well…but that may just be the endorphins talking. Yeah, no, now that I think about it that’s most definitely the endorphins talking.
As I ran (and ran, and ran) I couldn’t help but think about things. Chugging away as Katy Perry sang in my ears I thought about how my life has changed in the last six months, how many life goals I’ve accomplished and how things seem to be falling into place. Just like the running, I’ve hit my stride and it is a strange, unfamiliar and wonderful feeling all at the same time. Three years ago I sat at my writing desk and wrote myself a note over and over again. I then took the copies and scattered them in places that I’d see throughout the day. The note said this: “What would it be like not to carry the demons around.” We all carry our own set of demons, those memories of people telling you that you can’t do something, the voices in your head that you don’t deserve to achieve. What would life be like if they were silenced? How much could a person accomplish?
I was ruled by the demons for a very long time. I beat my body, I beat my heart and I beat my dreams because what I’d heard as a child and what I continued to tell myself after those influences had died was that I couldn’t. I’d thought that those things were in my past, but, really they were just quiet. It wasn’t until I said exactly what I wanted out loud, until I talked back to the demons that they began to truly fade away. Today I sent them packing, or at least I hope so. I am no longer lead by my past, by the things people have done or said to me or the negative thoughts that I directed toward myself. If I can accomplish this, I can accomplish anything and that knowledge is pretty damn good.
On a less introspective note, I spent a lot of time people watching and silently giggling to myself. Everyone, I realized, clearly has their own style of running, but most can be put into the following categories:
- Feet first – these people run leaning back like they are just along for the ride.
- Hips first – someone has tied a giant invisible rope around their middle and is pulling them along.
- Head first – I kept thinking that what is going through their head is “God, please let this torture stop” because they look so completely and totally unhappy with every step they take.
- Nice and easy – 10K? This is a walk in the park. I may be running, but I’m taking my time, I’m looking cool and I have no problems what-so-ever.
- Full throttle – Outta my way boys, I’ve got a date with the clock, a time to beat and a hot thing at home to make love to…
What category did I fall into? I hope number four and I pray not number three, but luckily there are no photos to prove or disprove either.