I made the mistake of complaining to someone today about how hard this morning's run turned out to be. The response? "So don't do it!" My immediate, knee-jerk reaction was, "Sorry, that's just not an option." Then I started pondering the why behind that reaction, and without getting into all my self-imposed psycho-babble baloney, I decided it was important to actually spell out why I, Lisa, must run, what this means to me, and more importantly, what I hope it will mean for the girls coming along behind me.
In my intro I say that I was the slowest runner in middle school. After reading that, at least one person piped up that she was the slowest, not I. Interestingly, it didn't seem to phase that dear woman in the least that she could even be in the other-worldly dimension of slow that I inhabited. So there must be more to this than just my distaste for being last (WAY last, by the way!). Yes, this lack of athleticism, this failure to measure up to my peers, defined a part of me that has survived all the way to middle age. While I have managed some success in other areas despite my sloth-like movements (yes, we fat chicks thrive on good grades and academic achievements), I was still hung up on this notion that I could not run. I wore this "I can't run" banner as part of my daily wardrobe for so long that I still find myself looking for it, even as I don my super-duper sports bra, wicking shirt, shorts, and OESH shoes. And I could still hear that voice saying "You can't. You're fat. You're uncoordinated," as I started out on the treadmill in the basement (fearing disgusted stares or rude comments from passersby).
Now, after logging in over 200 miles just since August, that voice is down to a mere whisper, and I can usually say, "Shush, you horrid creature, I'm RUNNING!" I'd say that by the day of the 10-Miler, I won't be able to hear her at all ...
My other HUGE reason for running, of course, is to show by example to my dear daughters how exercise simply IS a part of one's life. It isn't sadistic torture invented by a pscho gym teacher, it isn't punishment, it isn't merely a way to eat more chocolate (ok, maybe just a little!). It is a way of life. And imagine my sheer joy last week when my 10 year old, having spent a lazy, inactive day, said, "I hope we get home from the movies in time for me to jump rope. I really feel like I need to move some more today!" :)
I may never overcome all of my food issues (we can't get into why I was eating Wheat Thins out of a red-rope folder all those years ago, even at one of the thinner times in my lives). That would require serious therapy. However, I feel SO much better now--physically and emotionally. My husband paid me a compliment tonight and for the first time in a long time I didn't turn it away. I just said, "Thanks, honey." Now THAT is progress.