Why am I so stupid?Posted: February 17, 2011
I don’t mean book learnin’ (I do okay in that department), but why after 42 years on this planet do I continue to fool myself with delusional thinking?? It’s not that I consciously thought walking 13.1 miles (instead of running 26.2) would be *easy*, it’s just that I somehow didn’t realize it would be quite this, well, HARD. I was thinking to myself, “oh yeah, I have been through this training routine before and this time I don’t have to go as far or as fast, so no big deal. Walk in the park.” Only it turns out you can’t actually stroll your way through a half-marathon. They do have a time limit on how long they will keep the roads open for your lolly-gagging self. So, first shot of reality was when one of our coaches, Jeff, started educating us on the pace we needed to maintain during the race. We need to walk a 17 minute mile. That is actually a very reasonable pace and would be great if I actually walked at that pace. Right now I walk just over an 18 minute mile. Oops. Okay, so speed up a little, no problem. I speed up and my calves started screaming in anguish over this new development in their formerly casual lives. Turns out I have to work up to it slowly and be patient with myself, which we all know I have little patience for…
Also in the book of I-have-been-here-before-and-therefore-think-I-know-everything somehow thought I would be spared the emotional element of training with the Team in Training group. I did all that last time, right? So, I’m all done getting all emotional over this cause, right? Wrong-WRONG-W-R-O-N-G. What I should have learned from that experience was how profoundly moving all these stories are and that if you think it won’t be a shot right to the heart, you are sadly mistaken or you no longer have a heart. I am happy to report I still have one and it took about 2 seconds to start flexing that muscle as well. At my first Saturday practice, a large Hawaiian man, Bill Aven, got up to speak about his daughter, Ashley Aven, who passed away in August at age 18 from Leukemia. He told us that he was going to try not to cry because Ashley would be mad at him. That’s okay, the rest of us, myself included, were able to step up in the crying department. He told us all how she was given two months to live back in January, but she decided she had too much to do first – like graduate from high school. With only months to live, she chose to spend her time accomplishing the goals that were important to her, even though she would never get to use that diploma for anything other than her own sense of accomplishment. Suddenly, I am reminded that I am here for a reason and it’s not to stroll my way through this experience unmoved or unchanged. I am here to stretch myself physically, emotionally, and financially – to support the end of fathers having to hold back their tears for their daughter’s unfulfilled dreams.