My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Why do I race …

As I was out running today, this question popped into my head.  And this post basically started writing itself.

It happens like that sometimes.  Someone says something, or I say something, and suddenly I have the makings of a post for my blog.  I like when it happens like that actually.  I think some of my better posts have come about that way, sort of by accident.

So there I was running along, and something in me asked “Why do I run?”  Well, that’s a pretty easy question to answer.

I run to improve my health.

I run to test my limits, and to break through them.

I run to clear my head.

I run because I can.

And as I continued my run, another question popped into my head – “Why do I race?”

Now that got me thinking.

And I knew it wouldn’t be a simple answer.

When I first started working with Tyler, he asked me what some of my goals were.  I told him I wanted to be able to do a 5K race.  At the time, I wasn’t actually thinking of running.  I was okay with walking.  I just wanted to do a race.  He helped me get there a year before I thought I would be able to.  I still remember that first race, and always will.

So I guess the first part of the answer is because it was on my bucket list.

After that first race, I found myself thinking about others races.  That first year, I only did the one race.  But the next year, I did three 5Ks and one 10K.  This year, I’ve already done five 5Ks, with the possibility of 2 more.

So I guess the next part of the answer is because it’s addictive.  I think ALL runners who race would agree with that one LOL.

All my races have been local ones.  Almost all have been in the town where I live, 2 have been in neighbouring towns.  All my races have supported local causes, raising money for local charities.  I love that.  That’s a big reason I picked those races to do.

So the next part of the answer is to raise money for local charities and causes.

There is nothing like the running community.  Everyone is accepted.  It doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow.  It doesn’t matter if you’re new to running or have been running for years.  You pass another runner, they smile, nod, wave, give you a high five, or give you words of encouragement.  It doesn’t matter if they don’t know you personally.  You are a runner.  They are a runner.  You’re like family.  And they cheer for you as you cross that finish line, whether you win or not.

So the next part of the answer is for the comradery.

And as I continued to run, I thought of reasons why others probably race.

I do several chats on twitter, and most have to do with running and/or racing.  And I follow a lot of runners.  A lot of them give reasons like:

I race for the bling (medals)

All the races I’ve done so far have been small local ones.  Medals only go to the top runners.

I race for the food/beer after

None of the races I’ve done have given beer at the end.  They’ve all provided snacks (like milk/chocolate milk, juice, water, granola bars, fruit), but nothing extraordinary.

I race for the swag

None of the races I’ve done have given swag bags.  Some have given t-shirts, one gave a headscarf, but that’s it.  Most have done draw prizes.  I think I won something once.

I race to win.

I don’t think so.

But then that little voice inside me said “Come on, those are all good answers, but you know the number 1 reason”

And I smiled and chuckled to myself.  Yeah, I know the reason.

I don’t race to win.  I’m a slow runner.  I may never be fast enough to win a race.  But that’s okay.  That’s not why I race.

I race to finish.

Each and every time I cross that finish line, I accomplish something.  Something I didn’t think possible a few years ago.

Every time I see and hear the crowd cheering as I near and then cross the finish line, I feel an incredible sense of accomplishment.

Every race I’ve run, the goal has been to finish.  I’m not concerned about how long it will take me.  Yes, it’s nice when I have a good time, but that’s not paramount.  The goal is to cross the finish line.

And that will be true for every race I run in the future.

Why do I race?

To cross the finish line.

 

Why do you race?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Still trying to figure it all out …

I know I haven’t posted anything in a while, and I’m sorry about that.  I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and trying to work through some stuff.

Things are a lot harder on my own.  But I’m trying.

I’ve been feeling very alone.  I know I’m not, but the feeling is still there.

And there seems to be more roadblocks and obstacles than ever before.

I know this is just another test.  The universe just wants to see how strong I really am, how committed I am to this journey.  But sometimes I feel like I’m failing the test.

Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, not making any progress.  Or worse, going backwards.  I haven’t struggled like this since the beginning of my journey.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up.  I refuse to give up.

I’m frustrated and angry.  At myself mostly.

I don’t know why it has gotten harder.

I don’t know why I’m having such a hard time.

I’m questioning everything.  Including myself.

I’m wondering how I could come so far only to be stonewalled for as long as I have been.

I’m wondering why I can’t seem to break through the wall I’ve hit.

I’m wondering why the universe continues to test me.

I’m wondering why I can’t seem to get very far on my own.

I’m wondering if I have the strength to continue.

And on top of all this, I’ve been sick more in the last few months that I had been in all the previous year, maybe even longer.  And I don’t understand why.  I’ve had a bladder infection, a couple of migraines that have lasted for days, and a pretty severe cold! Plus I fell on the ice – twice!

Just when I think I’m getting myself back to where I need to be, something else happens.  And I don’t get why.

I really am trying.

I’m just so frustrated.  And disappointed.  In myself.

I know I’m better than this.  I’ve proved that.

I’ve come a long way.  I’ve made great strides.  I’ve overcome a lot.

And maybe that’s part of why things seem so hard right now.  Maybe that’s why the universe is testing me so much.

I’m not giving up.  I have a lot of fight in me.  Maybe my nickname should be “stubborn bitch” instead of “skinny bitch”.  I don’t feel much like a “skinny bitch” right now anyway.

I’m trying to refocus.  Look at things differently.  Shake things up.  Try new things. Make some changes.

The weather has been a big problem this winter.  I’ve wanted to get outside, but we’ve had a lot of snow and ice.  Not really good for getting outside for workouts.  Hoping the weather gets better soon.  Until then, I’m doing what I can indoors.

And I’ve asked for help. Begged really. A few people offered help, but then flaked out on me. And that just left me feeling worse than before. If they didn’t mean it, why did they offer? Why get my hopes up only to watch me crash to the ground?

So how do I get back on track?  And stay there?

How do I make working out fun and interesting again?

How do I break through the obstacles in front of me?

These are some of the things I’m still trying to figure out.

I know it sounds like I’m whining. And I kind of am.

And I know this sounds a bit negative. And I agree, it does.

But these are things that go through my head. And I find it beneficial to write about them. That is why I started this blog in the first place. Sometimes writing (or typing) these things out gets them out of my head and off my mind.

There is a lot of stuff to think about on this journey. A lot of it is good, but sometimes the negative stuff creeps up. Sometimes I get stuck in my own head. Sometimes I’m hard on myself. And that’s a good time to write about this stuff. And it usually helps.

Being on my own for the last several months has had me thinking a lot more. I am still figuring out a lot of stuff. And it will take time. But it’s all part of the journey, all part of the process.

And I need to remember that.

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Four years ago …

Four years ago, my life changed forever.

Four years ago, I was sitting in a doctor’s office with my husband by my side, listening to him say words I never thought I’d hear — “You have cancer”.

Some days it seems like a lifetime ago.

Some days it feels like yesterday.

So much has happened in the last four years.  More than I thought possible.  More than I expected.  More than I would have liked to have happen.

But through it all, I’ve learned a lot.  About life.  About strength.  About myself.

While I wouldn’t say I’m a completely different person, I’m changed quite a bit since that day.  I think I’m more open.  I’m certainly stronger, both mentally and physically.  I’d like to think I’m more empathetic.  I’m more willing to accept change (or at least I think I am).  There are other changes too, but I think those are the biggest ones.

I’ve learned not to take things for granted (a very important lesson for all to learn).

I’ve also learned the importance of having a good support system.  Everyone needs family and friends around them to help them along, whether or not they realize it.

I’ve learned motivation and inspiration are all around us, if we are just willing to open our eyes and hearts to see it.

I’ve learned one bad day does NOT make a bad life, and that tomorrow is a new day.

I’ve learned slow progress is still progress and not to give up.

Life is about choices.  We make choices all day, every day.  And it’s about making the right ones, the best ones for us.  What might be right for one person, isn’t necessarily right for someone else.  It’s about learning which is which.  It’s not easy, but no one said it would be.  But it will be worth it in the end.

Four years ago, my life changed forever.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  It might sound strange to some, but personally I think getting cancer was the best thing to happen to me.  It made me realize I needed to change my life.  And I think I’m doing a pretty damn good job doing just that.

I consider myself to be lucky.  Lucky to have gotten cancer.  Lucky to have beaten it quickly.  Lucky to have realized I needed to change.  Lucky to still be on the right path.

 

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