This post is inspired by Paula over at Never A Dull Bling! I love reading about her adventures in running and life, and I am all about the positive attitude she puts out into the blogosphere. Last week, her positive quotes made me feel all warm and fuzzy – and to get to thinking about what moves me? What inspires me?
In life, and in running, I am largely motivated internally. I’m not a competitor: I don’t get going because I’m going to be the best or the fastest. I mostly want to be better than myself. When I set a goal going into a race, I don’t get outside of my own box: I don’t compete with my friends that I know are speedier than me, I compete with my own times and set myself a goal that I think will be challenging but attainable. Right now, that means hoping my mile paces never go about 11’s (and on a good day, are in the high 10’s) when I race. This is still the view from the back ¼ of the pack in most races, and that doesn’t bother me at all. As I mentioned in a former Friday rant, I guess I was just born one of those sparkly unicorn glitter veined people. I am, as I’ve said before, a reckless optimist.
For me, running itself is something I never thought I’d do well, or could somewhat enjoy doing as my main source of activity. When I played soccer in HS, I ran with the goalie – the last in the pack. I did it, but I was slow. Same with softball: as a pitcher, no one expected me to speed around the bases (in fact, they called me a sarcastic “wheels”) – surely, I didn’t but I hit well enough to GET on base, so that was all that mattered! I hated doing the warm ups before practice! Who would have thought that in my late 20’s, I’d have become a RUNNER – and still be going strong at it almost 10 years later. By choice. That, to me, moves me.
I keep myself going out on the road and running because I can.
My body can. My knees don’t hurt. My legs still GO with relatively little kickback. I never thought it could do something like run half marathons. The simple fact that I CAN keeps me going. And it doesn’t hurt that I get to tell my doctors, when they glance at my at-the-edge-of-obese BMI, that I’ve been running a few half marathons a year since 2009… and slightly snarkily glance back at their shocked look. I do love surprising people, too.
The stars aligned, and this AWESOME article over at Runner’s World came in to my life this morning over my cereal, the story of Mirna Valerio’s running journey. Talk about inspiring. It also reminded me that I need to stop doubting myself from time to time. For example, lately I’ve been tossing around the idea of joining one of the two local running clubs near me, to have some company at races and while running. However, what’s stopping me is my personal doubt: do running clubs even have runners that run in the 12 minute range? Will I still be alone and last while running even if I join a club? If so, why bother? I’m still sitting on the fence about this one, but I think this summer is the time I finally make the leap and join one. We’ll see.
I struggle most keeping positive and motivated when I am not in control: I like plans and calendars and to know where my life is going, for the week, the month, the year. This last month, and in the coming ones, my real life is going to be the opposite of planned. I don’t know where I’m going to be living at the end of my current lease, or if I’ll be taking a summer class, or what my life will look like by September. And this is hugely stressful for me.
So right now? The plan is to remember that everything will work out fine, and that in the end, I have the long term goals in place…. And to keep my reckless optimism intact 99% of the time, with lots of running and a fair amount of rainbow glitter everything.
What moves you? What keeps you going and inspired in life?