Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Checking My Ego at the Starting Line

I recently graduated and am having trouble accepting that the identity I have had for twenty five years is now different. When people ask me what I’m doing with my life I stutter to avoid my comfortable “I’m a student” speech. Somehow, working, regardless of the job, and being a student is impressive. Once that student safety net is abolished there is pressure to provide a more dignified answer than just “work.”

So what does this have to do with my journey to the finish line? Well, I was a student of literature. My existence is analysis and words and as a result I live in my head. 

When your identity is shaken, everything is shaken. I agreed to write this blog when my life was operating under such rigidity that every moment felt mapped. Now that I have graduated, I am struggling with the fear that freedom brings. I don’t always know how I feel and there are no professors marking my feelings, allowing me assess how valid they are.

With only two blog posts and a little feedback, I put writing on the back burner. But then a week ago I was approached by a few team members who were wondering about my journey and when they would be able to read more. It sparked a fire under me. I realized that I am writing for myself however my intention is to chronicle an honest journey of a young woman who created a story about not being able to run and then decided to rewrite it. This is bigger than me.    

On that note I will fill you in on my latest running adventure.

The rain beat down on my face; it soaked through my coat and left my hair looking as though I had just showered. My eyes darted from puddle to puddle and my mind focused on the driest strategy around the wet landmines lining the trails. At one point, our run leader, Kristin, and I ran side by side chatting about life. I was running and talking! This was a novelty I assumed was a mere myth and then before I knew it, the run was over. The voice inside my head was so preoccupied with violent precipitation and casual conversation that it forgot to badger me. I was drenched and liberated. It was my best run club to date.

The week of the monsoon there were four people present. The next week was bright and dry with a big turnout. I let my ego inflate and I was ready to show everyone what I was capable of.  I raved to my boyfriend about my accomplishments and vowed to show him my running talents.

My first few minutes were lovely and then it hit me. A cramp that could have taken out a horse. It was like a knife in my side and no matter how much I screamed at my body to preform it simply replied “nope, not today.” 

I was fuming and my ego was hurt because no one saw me at my peak. I turned to Steve and dramatically huffed, “Go ahead! Leave me! I feel terrible!” He looked at me like I was nuts and calmly replied, “I am here with you. You are doing great. It doesn’t matter that you are walking, just do your best.”

He was right. I was doing my best and my best happened to be a run-walk with a cramp that wouldn’t quit. I decided to give myself a break.

Tonight I am going on another run.  We are leaving from lululemon on West4th at 6pm.  If you would like to join me please do! 

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