Monday, August 17, 2009

I am inspired...

Running is hard work. I don’t care if you are a trained athlete – or a racing turtle – if you are out there pushing yourself, it is hard work. My husband, a much better runner than me, just came in sweating and groaning after a two hour run – proving my point exactly.

So what do you do when you get to the point where you don’t think you can go any farther? What do you do when you hit that wall that everyone talks about around mile 20 something? You probably look for inspiration. You think about why you trained for so many months. Was it for the feeling you get from crossing the finish line? The looks on your children’s’ faces? The thought of putting that 26.2 frame around your license plate? Trust me when I say I think about this during my long runs. Because there better be a good reason I am torturing myself.

Nearly two years ago I ran my first 10K. It was in the town of Celebration, where my son plays on a Challenger Little League team. Around mile five we passed the field where he plays. I was on the verge of walking the remainder of the race and I was sore and frustrated that old guys were passing me every few minutes. But when I saw that field –I started thinking how my son, Ryan gets frustrated every week at baseball. At some point he is on the ground, overwhelmed with the disappointment that he missed hitting the ball several times, or that he missed catching a ball. But the coaches (along with my husband and me) constantly remind him how important it is to keep trying. For a kid with autism, who also suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder and anxiety – this is a hard pill to swallow. But he does. And as I am running and thinking about this (and sort of hyperventilating because I am crying and running), a half mile has passed. And I realized two things: 1) Pushing yourself beyond what you think you are capable of is hard work. 2) With the right inspiration, and a distraction - it is slightly easier.

So fast forward to yesterday. Ryan signed up for the Special Olympics bowling team. I sat in that bowling alley thinking – there is a whole lot of inspiration in this room. I think overall I am amazed by the strengths people have. Whether it’s a fellow runner who places second in her first triathlon; a woman who carries her disabled daughter to the bowling lane each and every turn; or a 10 year old who struggles with an unfortunate combination of OCD and motor skills challenges – it’s all hard. But the good news – it is clearly all possible.

Today I am inspired, and I hope this carries me through the rest of my training.


  1. You have me in tears!! So true......

  2. You are such a great writer. Keep it going!

  3. Thanks, Ladies! Clearly, I had you mind, Natalia, as I wrote that last paragraph! Very inspiring!