I fell in love with running in my adolescent years. To me, it was the ultimate freedom. I would tune my Walkman to the local popular radio station, adjust the headphones to my growing head, tighten my ponytail and hike up my tube socks and be on my way. The music was my release and the pavement was my springboard. I felt good – challenged yet energized. It was the one place I could set my own rules and govern myself – if I wanted to make it to the next stop sign, it was up to me and only me. No parents, teachers, or friends helicoptering over me telling me what to do, how to do it, and what the rules were. Just me and whatever path I chose.
In my adult years, I have struggled keeping up with running – especially when I moved to Colorado. I compared myself to the Greek goddess-like runners that seemed to surround me. I felt like the majority of runners woke up at 5AM daily to run their usual 10 mile routes – at elevation, as just their first activity of the day… Probably ending the day with a casual 5 mile hike to the sunset. While eating only plants. 😉
When I finally realized that these Colorado-Greek-goddesses may in fact exist, they are further along on their running journey than I am. And there was in fact a time when they were where I am standing in my running journey – somewhere towards the beginning. I self-motivate with the phrase, “Let them laugh at you now and bow down to you later”. While this phrase may be a little extreme (I truly don’t believe anyone will be bowing down to me), it helps me be in the ‘now’. Once I accepted my present state, it has been easier to continue pushing myself even while the goddesses lap me at the park.
Because, maybe, to another woman on her first day contemplating to run a lap, she sees me and sees a goddess – a woman with a bump at her belly and freedom on her face.