Just like the classic postal system saying, “neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hail shall keep this runner from her appointed rounds!” Snow, or no snow, I had a job to do, and d@mnit, I had to get it done! Week 5 asked for 17 miles, and just like the postmen, I delivered!!
A friend posted a saying online in Facebook this week, that read something like this: “If it’s important to you, you will find a way to do it. If it’s not important to you, you will find excuses.” I believe this saying represents the essence of what I am up against with my Half Marathon challenge. An 18-week training schedule is a mammoth commitment. ALOT can (and will) happen between December 19th, 2011 and April 22, 2012 that will challenge my efforts, threaten to derail me, attempt to lure away my attention, chip away at my resolution. My single most important job is to keep my focus on those 13.2 miles on April 22nd, 2012 — to keep the goal IMPORTANT. Because as soon as it loses some of its importance, not only has my ship sprung a leak,,,,,,but I’m sunk.
But Why, Diane? I mean, come on. Sometimes, something else is going to need to be done and you might not get your run in! “ SHHHHH. Don’t SAY THAT! THAT is NOT gonna happen”. When I signed up for the Half Marathon, IT became more important than, well….everything. So, hold on. Don’t get your feathers ruffled. This doesn’t mean that I stopped going to work, or started avoiding my husband and daughters. But it DOES mean that I sacrifice an hour of sleep, and get up (gulp) at 4am so I can run and then get ready for work and be out the door by 6am. It DOES mean that I will skip the glass of wine on Saturday night, and get to bed nice and early, so I KNOW I will be strong and well-rested for my Sunday Long run every week. Every 18 Sundays between Dec 19th and April 22nd. And it DOES mean that on Sunday, every Sunday, you WILL see me on the road, running my long run, no matter what.
Snow? Not gonna stop me. Rain? Not gonna stop me. Christmas? New Years? Didn’t stop me. The annoyance of snow was a real obstacle I had to overcome today. Homeowners, business owners HEAR MY PLEA. PLEASE shovel your sidewalks!! Think of the kids heading to the bus, the walkers, the runners that rely on those safe sidewalks every day. As a responsible runner, I do my best to ensure my own safety and the safety of drivers, by running on the sidewalks whenever I can. Today it wasn’t possible. So many sidewalks were unshoveled, and running on the compacted snow was too rough on my ankles and knees. I was risking an injury on those sidewalks, so I did my 6 mile run on the roads, as close to the shoulder as possible. I want to say THANKS to all the drivers who slowed down when they passed me, and/or gave me extra room. Thank you for sharing the road. To those of you who can’t manage to do the speed limit even on a day of snow and black ice……stop and think that the life you save may be your own, and an innocent who just happened to be near you. Don’t BE a HAZARD!
Anyway, back to my point. I am NOT special. I am NOT super charged, or super driven. I’m just a little ole’ 46 year old mother, wife, etc who has decided to make this Half Marathon Journey IMPORTANT for 18 weeks of my life. And in doing so, I commit, and recommit, and commit again every day to making my training run IMPORTANT. And in making it IMPORTANT, it guarantees that IT gets done.
Importance guarantees that the “IT” gets done. Yea. Read it again. Cuz it’s worth a re-read. Importance guarantees that the “IT” gets done. Why, you ask? Well, let’s dissect what importance means for a few minutes, and maybe the answer is in there somewhere. To the dictionary.
“Importance: The state of being of great significance or value.”
Let’s also look at some hyponyms for importance. A hyponym is a word that describes things more specifically.
Hyponyms for Importance:
big deal, weightiness, urgency, essential, significance, greatness, prominence, momentous, of great account, magnitude.
Get a look at those hyponyms. They are totally awesome!! Greatness. Ooooh, I like that one. Essential. I want to BE that one. Wouldn’t you want some of those words associated with you? If those words described YOU, and you were the “IT”, wouldn’t you WANT to do whatever it took to be A BIG DEAL, or SiGNIFICANT, or PROMINENT, or IMPORTANT?
[quiet moment of epiphany]
This is why I run. Every day. Snow or no snow. Because I am the “IT”. I’m what is important, not the running. The running is just my “tool of choice” through which I have committed to treat myself as Important. For you, it might be your spin class, or ZUMBA, or the elliptical at the gym. Whatever your vehicle of choice is, YOU are out there every day making yourself important, and putting in the work FOR YOU.
And IF you make yourself IMPORTANT — you will do what it takes to get the work done. And you won’t make excuses anymore. Because, I ask you, what else is going to happen today that will come anywhere even close to being more ESSENTIAL, SIGNIFICANT, or of GREATER MAGNITUDE than taking care of YOU??
When you open your mind and allow whatever form of exercise you choose to become “just another tool” for taking care of YOU, for making you IMPORTANT, I think it will get you up off the couch, and into your sneakers, and on the road for that walk, run, or [fill in the blank as you wish].
For me, I ran 17 miles this week. I did it for ME. Because no one else is going to do it for ME.
So, as you struggle, and huff and puff, and PUSH yourself to do it (and so do I! We are the same!!) — remember this —-> Every mile you put in is for YOU, and YOU, my friend, are a hyponym…… A Very BIG DEAL!
Ciao for now…. Diane