I know a lot of people that set all kinds of lofty goals when approaching a BIG BIRTHDAY. You know the sort: "I want to visit Italy before I'm forty." Or how about "I want to backpack around Europe before I'm thirty." I'm not that kind of girl. I believe in setting goals, sure, but I don't think that your goals need to be based around your age or station in life. Want to visit Italy or backpack around Europe? Well, go. If you can't go now, then find a way to get there later. There's no reason you can't do these things before you reach a certain age.
All that being said, I reach a certain BIG BIRTHDAY next March, and I've been doing a lot of thinking this past year about what I've learned in my thirties, and what I've done with my thirties. Recently, I've been thinking of just one thing.
This is me, in June. Age 39. I had just run my first 5K.
This year is the year I decided to run.
Now, I originally wrote "The year I became a runner" but I'm still a little uncomfortable with that phrase. I don't run far, and I certainly don't run fast. I don't look like a runner, and I probably still can't keep up with a pack. But I'm running. Me!
I've never been what you could call an athlete....one of my family's favorite stories is about how I signed up for softball in 3rd grade, went to one practice, and never went back. I've always kind of felt like a fish out of water around any kind of sporting activity. Being a bit uncoordinated and awkward will do that to a person. I've always secretly admired people who could run any distance at all without looking completely silly, because when I ran I always felt a bit foolish.
So I decided a year or so ago to start one of those couch to 5K running programs. As an aside, I believe that 5K is the new yoga. You? Anyway....I started one, then I stopped. Then I started over again, and I stopped. Then it got cold. Then hot. Then I got serious and I joined a gym. I actually go to the gym, and I actually enjoy it. I started running one day, and I didn't use any program to tell me when to run and when not to run, I just ran when it felt good and walked when it didn't. I was astounded one day when I looked down at the treadmill and saw I had been running for 13 minutes. Me!!!
So here's to deciding to try something new. For being able to overlook awkwardness and discomfort. Here's to going out and doing it, even if I don't look like everyone else out there. Here's to me, finally doing something I always wanted to be able to do. Here's to new things, to my health, to the rush I get when I really get going. Here's to silencing the voice inside me that says "you can't do that".
Yes I can.