Do Your Work
I’m not a runner. I don’t breathe from my diaphragm, I don’t land my steps correctly, my stride is tiny, I don’t get a runner’s high. I’m not a runner. And yet, for some odd reason I decided I would run a half marathon this year. Was it a good idea? Probably not. How did I get through it? With the help of Spotify, a couple of good friends, Christen Bakken, and John Cena.
I should back up here. Why did I think this was a thing I should do? Well, a few years ago I trained for a half, pulled a hip flexor the week before, and couldn’t run the race. It just sat there as this thing I never finished. Then I got all caught up in this Golden Year idea. Turning 31 on the 31st and 13.1 miles just seemed like a thing that fit with the numbers. The final push was an entry covered by my workplace. It seemed like the universe was telling me to lace up my shoes and go, so I did. And so did Faryle, my consummate trouble friend. We get into the best shenanigans together, and this race was no different.
Training was...a challenge. Remember the stuff I said about not being a runner? Yeah...that. I had to relearn to do all of those things and get past the idea that I don’t run. It was draining. Then I started my 200 Teacher Training. I felt like I was spending all my time either learning or in the studio practicing or trying to run. I was tired. Physically and mentally. But I wasn’t particularly inclined to quit because I told people I was doing this. And I couldn’t look like a quitter. So I pushed on. I missed brunches, I skipped Happy Hour, I went home early on Saturday nights. This wasn’t something I could fake my way through, I had to do the work. The Saturday night before my twelve mile run I was getting ready to depart a group who was staying out and I had a ‘I can’t do this’ moment. As usual, NamasDrew was there to push me through it. While he may not remember his exact words of encouragement, as it had already been a long evening and he wasn’t going home to run, he helped me realize I could do it. I was capable.
Capability and doing my work were resounding themes in my life during August and September, boosted in large part by a visit from Christen Bakken. I talked about that a little HERE. That’s when things really started to click for me, I had been beating myself up about not looking like a runner, not being fast enough, but that didn’t matter. I was doing my work, I was making this thing a reality. It didn’t matter if it didn’t look like anyone else’s pace, or form, it was mine and I needed to own that mentality.
The week of the race I was a wreck, my nerves were making me sick. I really, REALLY wanted to not do it. But, I’m not a quitter. When I went to pick up my packet my bib number ended in 62, 31 on the 31st...another golden coincidence. I had always planned to wear my Brie Mode tank for the race because I love cheese a lot but that night it didn’t feel right. My John Cena “Do The Work” tank did so I fastened by bib to it and went to sleep knowing I was going to do this thing.
As I was running through some of my favorite neighborhoods in Kansas City I thought about stopping. Just calling an Uber and slinking off to my couch to hide. But I knew there were people waiting for me. I couldn’t let them down. Each time I came across a friendly face I knew there were people who believed in me, even in the moments I was struggling to believe in myself.
But I did it, I finished. I completed a half marathon. Did it hurt? A little more than I expected. Did I cry? YOU BET I DID.
While I still don’t get a runner’s high, while I’ll never ‘look’ like a runner, or have a particularly impressive time, something about this race struck a chord with me. I’m capable. When I put my mind to it, when I do my work, I am capable. It would be easy for this to be a thing I check off my list, an accomplishment that stands on its own but, ever the recovering perfectionist, I know I can do better. I can do my work more completely, devote more of my attention, more of my intention. I can do better.
Last night I laced up my shoes and started training for my next half.