There must be something about being human that makes us love a new beginning. The beginning of the new year is always a time in which we talk together of our plans and resolutions, our hopes and our intentions.
As luck would have it, I begin to seriously train for the Danskin at the same time each year. And so I sit here thinking about this next year, this next race, and what I will need to do to prepare. I have been thinking about this process a lot in the last few days, and I have realized that I really love (yes love!) so much about the transformative power of this race. I love how as the temperatures warm, the running becomes easier, the pounds drop away, my focus improves, my friendships grow, and my life is truly and deeply enriched. Like a snake shedding skin, this race helps me shed the old habits, the Christmas cookies, and the malaise of everyday living. There’s the excitement (yes for me it’s exciting!) of getting into the pool again. There’s the pleasure of the group rides. There’s the thrill of hearing your training stories and watching you discover how strong you actually are.
So I am ready for this process. It is important to me in so many ways. But this year is different. This year I need something from you. I need your help. You see this year I am starting from a different place. As you may know, about 6 weeks ago I was in a biking accident that left me with an injured back. I have had and still have trouble training. I am slowly returning to running, but at this point I am out of shape, too heavy, and sore. What I need to do is drop some pounds and run, most every day, until I am stronger.
A few weeks ago I tossed a rock into the sea in an effort to shed some negativity from my life. I attached the words “I’m not much of a runner.” to the rock and flung it away. Here’s where you come in. I need your presence in my life to hold me accountable. I need you to ask me, again and again, are you running?
My friend Christine tells me that I should demonstrate more vulnerability, to share more of my thoughts and feelings, to let people in. If you know me at all, this feels like fishing in the desert. But I’m going to share this thing with you in the hopes that you will walk with me and we can truly do this together. You see, I’m worried. To be honest, I’m not really worried about any of you. I KNOW how strong each of you is. I have seen you overcome so many obstacles, endure and emerge from so many challenges. Honestly, I am worried about my ability to come back from this setback and do this training and race in a way that makes it worthwhile and fulfilling for me.
So I’m hoping you’ll take a risk with me. I’m hoping that if I tell you about my fears, you’ll tell me about yours. I’m hoping that we can hold each other accountable and face the challenges together. I’m hoping that in May you will feel that same pleasure that I have felt so many times. It is not only the pleasure of accomplishment that comes from finishing, but also the thrill of watching my friends succeed when they thought they might fail, watching them grow and learn to be more than they ever thought possible. This is the journey we’ve always been walking, but this time I’d like you to help me get there too.
“The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavor is taking the first step, making the first decision.”~Robyn Davidson
Let’s get started. It’s time.
Eat well, hydrate, train safely, sleep, stretch.
Safe journey friends. Wind at your back.