As a child of the 70’s, its natural that I would grow up to be a runner. Don’t get me wrong. No one in my family actually ran in the 70’s. I didn’t spend my Saturdays watching my dad wander in after a long run, nor did I ever see my mother do any running that wasn’t on a soccer field. But the principles of running - humility, patience, effort and never giving up were ingrained into me from a very young age.
When I grew up, I knew exactly what I wanted to be, and sorry, runner was way down on the list. Way down. Because who would want to do that, when there were limitless possibilities in the galaxy?
My goal was to be a Jedi Knight.
When you are calm and at peace, everything becomes clear.
Of course, instead of knighthood and the force I grew up to be another casualty of motherhood. A beige mini-van driving mother of many, barely hanging onto my sanity while managing multitasking feats of greatness. Or, if not greatness, at least of multiple tasks.
One afternoon I mused aloud that maybe instead of developing an eye twitch, I should develop a hobby. A friend of mine was a marathoner, so that seemed like a logical step. Running. Not marathoning.
Of course, what happened next is what happens in all the movies. Someone, who will remain nameless (and alive because of it) told me off hand that I could never be a runner. Dude. I might have accepted I can never be a Jedi Knight. But now I am supposed to accept that I can’t be a runner?
“Yeah, probably you’re right”. I knew I would most likely fail. I had a proven track record of failure. True. I mean that literally, not figuratively. I actually failed on the track at the Presidential Mile in High School.
I knew it was probably an exercise in stupidity. But that sort of obstacle had never stopped me before. And that didn’t stop Luke from rescuing Princess Leah. Imagine that film for a minute. George (Lucas) turns to Carrie (Fisher), “Sorry, we’re cutting your part. Seems like it’s an exercise in futility to have this farm boy come in and save you from execution… so…” (as he makes a slashing motion with his hand across his neck).
Truly though, I love that running has brought me in contact with some of the most humble people. Individuals who understand that effort is more important than time, and than having a good time is sometimes more vital to success than getting a good time. Sometimes these are even the same people who "get me", and they get that I’m competitive to a fault, and they forgive me when I forget these Yoda-esque principals.
Runners, for the most part, are humble, patient, and wise. The ones I run with know, that for me, giving up isn’t really an option.
Well. Giving up isn’t really an option if your goal is running related. If you’re going to set your sights on Jedi Knighthood… maybe having a back up plan is a good idea.
~ savor the run ~