I have 60 days.
And I really wish it was over with, like tomorrow.
While my dancing, yoga body, complete with a knee and achilles injury is having a hard time getting adjusted to the running, it’s my mind that wants this to be done. But it’s forcing me to face what I have been running from for over two years…
Grief. My grief. My stuff. Owning my stuff. Separate from everyone else’s experiences.
To briefly catch you up if you’ve never read my blog, I am running the Pittsburgh Half Marathon on May 4, 2014 with my friend an co-Under Armour ambassador Kasey (you may know her as Powercakes. I mean, who doesn’t know Powercakes?) as a promise I made when my friend Miles left this earth unexpectedly in December of 2011. What I didn’t realize was that more than the actual act of Miles’ death was a loss I had not been prepared to face…
….it was the loss of my perfect world.
Never in my, what I call, “real” life, had I had to deal with someone being here one day and gone the next, at least not someone whom I saw all of the time, someone young, someone whose house I spent a lot of time over, someone whose parents were my friends, sister was my daughter’s friend, had rode around in a car with, talk to over the phone, had been in their room, had pictures with them, pictures they had taken of me, and then all I had was those memories…just like that. I had experienced death. But not like this. It basically rocked my world. I went through periods of sleepless nights and weight loss to weight gain and sleeping all of the time. I wanted to be around people and be in church all of the time. Then I didn’t want to be bothered with anyone. I wanted to spend hours staring at his pictures and rationalizing how this could have happened and then I would keep my head down when visiting his home because I couldn’t look at his face. I’ve basically spent a lot of time AVOIDING really sitting with how “I” feel because I didn’t feel like it was valid. He wasn’t “my” son.
I feel like that about running. I’m “not” a runner. I don’t hang out at the running store. I don’t sign up for 5K’s every weekend . (I don’t even do them every year. I haven’t done one in about 5 years.) I couldn’t care less about my “PR.” And so my resistance to running had to do with not feeling like I belonged in that category because it wasn’t my “space” to occupy.
Let me tell you. When my body feels like it weighs 5,000 pounds during that first 1/4 of a mile, it STILL feels like it’s not my space. 🙂 But since I’ve been training, I’ve learned to give it a minute. I settle into my body. I try not to think about Miles when I’m running but sometimes I can’t help it. It makes me want to get off the treadmill and go hide under a bed. But I hear his voice. I keep running. I keep thinking of all of the other stuff I could be doing besides “fartleks” (yeah, if you don’t do those, ooooh weeee. Who knew?) and then I realize that running away is my default. I keep running. I started sweating my hair out even though I just got it done and breathing hard because Coach Christy told me my Tuesday runs shouldn’t be easy. I want to quit. I keep running.
But this time I’m running towards something. When you see me bobbing my head on that treadmill (can’t run outside because I don’t like dogs and I have really bad allergies that lock up my lungs. But mostly because I don’t like dogs), I’m listening to my “exit music;” that being WHATEVER is going to open the door for me to walk out of the season of me feeling like I am not free to express myself and live out my own experiences. I’m running towards the exit. I’m releasing the private struggles I’ve had over the past two years. And really, over the past thirty eight years. Because it takes a lot of guts and courage to step up and do something you are not used to doing, especially if people think you should “automatically” be excelling in it. (Zumba and running are two COMPLETELY different things!)
Is there something that’s weighing you down? What type of activity could you use to help you get to the exit to drop it off?
Here’s to two months of bad hair days and healing!