Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Ready for the Race

Tonight was the last training run before the 5K this weekend. Sadly, only 4 people from my team of about 15-20 showed up. I'm not sure why, and I really hope a few more show up at the race. I will be there, bright and early, at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday ready to stretch, hear advice from our coaches, and start the race at 7:30.

I know some of my friends think I am totally nuts with all of this. It's OK. I would think I am nuts too, if I were you. But, I have gotten so much more out of this than I have talked about on this blog. Things that are hard to describe, but have changed me deep inside. And, I have actually only really talked in depth about the program on this blog, rather than in person with friends and family. For me, it has been a somewhat private experience.

Our pre-race run was called an "Indian Line" where you all run in a line and, as you slowly jog along, the last person in line sprints to the front and has to shout out along the way certain facts about themselves, like their birthday, favorite color, fitness goal, birthplace, etc. So, we went around the 3 mile loop like that, each waiting until we were last in line for the big sprint to the front.

It was really interesting because I was jogging with the group that's just below my group, because of the low turnout. And, even though I'd never ran with them before, just in that 3 miles, I started to feel connected to the group.

I guess that's what I have to say about this whole experience looking back--there was this overwhelming sense of community about it. No one judging anyone else, and everyone there giving others a hand as they crossed the finish line each workout. With every time I finished a run, I really felt I had accomplished something and I always walked away from it with a huge smile on my face.

The acceptance I felt is something I am not experiencing in my life in other social circles right now. No, I'm not exactly being rejected, but I do not feel as connected or appreciated sometimes. Sometimes it feels as if I could disappear and not be missed from certain groups I am in. But, with this running team, it was different. If I missed a week, the coaches emailed me to check on me. Teammates who had never met me before it all started, patted me on the back when I finished a run. We shared our feelings of being overwhelmed at the pace, and our hopes for future races. And, no one talked about anyone's else's performance other than to congratulate them, even if it was just for showing up that night and walking some of the run. When you have been surrounded by circles of women involved in catty gossip and backstabbing, this is REALLY a nice change of atmosphere!

And also, this has kind of jump-started me back on the road to finding myself and being truly happy and fulfilled again. Sure, there are still things I need to work through (don't we all?) But, completing this program and proving this to myself has done a lot for my confidence. I really CAN do anything I set my mind to, and I will achieve my goals. In a stay-at-home mom's life, this is something you can lose sight of so easily.

Saturday morning will come very early. I will be very late or possibly miss my son's t-ball game this week--something I would normally never do. But, I will do this for myself and be able to hold my head a little higher each day, knowing that I finished something that I never even though I could begin to achieve.


Blogger Babs said...

Hurray for Steph!!! Sounds like when you're up for it, the Danskin triathlon would be perfect for you too... guys make fun of how supportive and "touchy, feely" the women are during that race. But it makes all the difference!

BTW, I totally understand your need to challenge yourself and succeed. It's the very reason I tackle the silly home projects like caulking my bathtub. To some people, it sounds so lame and easy. But I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I can get it done!

9:57 AM, April 28, 2005  

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