Everything – truly everything – in life happens for a reason. We may not see that reason at the time but it’s there…..
If I have learned anything over the past 30 years it is to try to stop planning out my life. To stop trying to figure out where I am going or what I should or shouldn’t do. I’m along for the ride, wherever it may take me.
Not long after Boston Marathon I got an email from a local runner who had read my blog post about my race.
The email shocked me for many reasons. One of which was that I looked up to this woman. She was fast, not what I consider my fast, but fast as in I can only dream of running her marathon pace one day. She also seemed like the type of woman who had to all together. I wanted to be friends with her but never thought it would happen.
I think I judged her from a distance and thought….she couldn’t be fast and nice right? She was one of those girls who had been running her whole life and was probably stuck up and didn’t want to have anything to do with little ‘ol slow me….or so I thought.
I didn’t know her so it was unfair to judge but whether we admit it or not we ALL do it in some form. I think it was my fear of rejection. That high school feeling of wanting a girl to like you and wanting to be friends with her and knowing inside that she doesn’t even know you exist. It’s silly really. Why do we as women judge each other? Why do we see girls/women we don’t know and want to be friends with them? Why do we care so much what others think? Why is there that knee jerk reaction to think a girl acts too good, or has it all? Why do we dislike someone we think would never like us?
I didn’t dislike her – that’s not what I am saying – what I am saying is that I didn’t know thing one about her except for that she was a rock star runner and I wanted to be as fast as her and so I thought we would never be friends. If I saw her at a local race or the local running store I wouldn’t even look her way. I didn’t want to want to be friends with her and be rejected. [does that even make sense? I don't know]
SO back to the email. I got it and literally did not write back for months. What would I say to her? I had a fear that if I wrote her back and if we started talking – we wouldn’t become friends. I put up a wall sometimes to protect my heart. I’ve been burned in too many friendships, one too many times, so it’s hard for me to open my heart up to someone new. I’m not the type of person who has a million and one friends, I don’t even have many people that I just consider acquaintances. I like to be all in. If you are my friend I REALLY care about you. I really devote my heart to believing in you, to wanting what’s best for you – it’s a great way to live and a painful way to live if the friendship fizzles.
Maybe this is how you are? Maybe not. We are all different and I love that.
When I did finally email her back I found she was completely different than I thought. So sweet. So supportive. So humble. So nice. So friendly. Need I go on?
This weekend I finally embraced my fear of running with her.
Why would someone who literally came seconds away from qualifying for the Trials want to run with *slower* me? I can’t keep up. What would she think? Would this be the only time she wanted to run with me?
After much introspection lately I decided what was the worst that could happen? A bad run? I couldn’t keep up? She doesn’t want to run with me anymore? Oh well….worth a try – right?
18 miles later with her and another dear friend and I felt renewed. I kept up [though I know she slowed for us] and I had fun. I felt strong, which is something I haven’t exactly been feeling a lot lately.
- Mile 1: 8:27
- Mile 2: 8:17
- Mile 3: 8:09
- Mile 4: 8:04
- Mile 5: 8:18
- Mile 6: 7:49
- Mile 7: 7:51
- Mile 8: 7:58
- Mile 9: 7:54
- Mile 10: 8:05
- Mile 11: 7:35
- Mile 12: 7:59
- Mile 13: 7:50
- Mile 14: 8:01
- Mile 15: 8:14
- Mile 16: 7:21
- Mile 17: 7:20
- Mile 18: 7:17
This feeling spilled over into my Monday run.
Chloe asked if she could ride in the middle of the stroller. In my head I freaked – Colton always is in the middle. He started there because he was the baby but now I assumed that the weight distribution was better with the lighter of the three in the middle. Triple stroller runs are already impossible enough – I did’t want to make it harder than it already is.
Something inside of me reminded me that I am now embracing fear…..so instead of fearing an even harder run – I told myself – you will rock this run – you will do this and you can do this.
- Mile 1: 9:35
- Mile 2: 9:34
- Mile 3: 9:29
- Mile 4: 7:30
- Mile 5: 7:01
- Mile 6: 6:45
6 miles later I again felt renewed. I can do this. I can train for marathons. I can be a good mom. I can keep this house going – despite my doubts on all three accounts.
I’ve been wanting to get up at o’dark thirty and run for more than a year now, but could never bring myself to get up alone and run at an hour that makes my stomach sick just thinking about it.
Through chatting with my *new speedy runner friend* I learned that her husband, who shares the name as my husband, also leaves for work beyond early and so she gets up at an INSANE hour and runs. If she could do it I could do it – right?
So I ordered a headlamp and set my alarm for an insane hour…..and I hit snooze every single morning. The darkness outside seemed harder than the triple stroller.
I couldn’t do it. I wanted to, but couldn’t.
So this friend said she would drive to my house and meet me.
This scared me. I knew that I had to embrace my fear because the only way I was going to get up and run was if I knew she was in my driveway.
This morning she helped me FIND MY STRONG. 7 speedy miles done before hubby needed to leave for work. 7 miles before most people even wake up.
- Mile 1: 7:51
- Mile 2: 7:24
- Mile 3: 7:24
- Mile 4: 7:14
- Mile 5: 7:10
- Mile 6: 7:24
- Mile 7: 7:08
I sit here now on my front porch in an awesome new adirondack chair hubby bought us. I’m listening to the rain, the bugs, the birds chirping. I am watching the sun rise before my little people get up.
Today I know I will be a happy mom because I ran. Today I feel strong. Today I feel that I can kick the words of self doubt out of my head.
I’m excited for them to wake up. For us to not have to spend all morning getting ready for a run [if you have little kids and stroller run you KNOW what I am talking about]. I am excited for them to color at the table rather than in the stroller. I’m just plain excited for the promise this day holds.
There are days, weeks, months I want to stop blogging. GASP. Yep I said it. I love sharing myself and I hate sharing myself. One of my biggest fears is the fear of being judged. Judged by people I know and judged by people I don’t know.
Today reminded me WHY I pour myself out…..I know that the girl I ran with today is going to become a life long friend. I can feel it. If I had a rock star race at Boston she may have never written me. It was through falling, through a terrible race – that I met her. I will forever be thankful for all that this blog has brought into my life – good and bad – because sometimes the bad happens for a reason even if we don’t see it at the exact moment.