Thursday, October 7, 2010

For Matt...I'm gonna do 26.2 and keep up the blog!

Certain people seem destined to inspire...I've always wanted to be one of them. The idea of motivating someone to motivate THEMSELVES makes me want to run into the street and do a happy dance. A lot of my enthusiasm stems from the fact that I've always sought out sources of inspiration from my friends, coaches, teammates, and teachers. Looking back over the years, I realize how lucky I've been to have such phenomenal influences. I'll be forever grateful for the impact they had on my life. A few weeks ago I turned 25, and decided now that I'm older, wiser, and totally have my act together *cough* I feel like it's only natural that I want to repay my karmic debt to the world. But I'm still figuring out how to do it.

As children, we're told that we're these incredibly special little snowflakes that have a unique gift to give to the world. We're told we're talented and beautiful and brilliant, and that it's impossible for us to do anything wrong. We imagined ourselves becoming astronauts, ballerinas, cowboys, and unicorn racers :) We knew that our dreams were completely within our reach because we'd been told they were for the vast majority of our young lives! Our existence was riddled with endless potential and untapped talent, waiting to unleash itself at the right moment.

Now, twenty-something years later, I'm attempting to embrace that child-like confidence, find my unique talent, and use it to help others. But I've got a secret, and I keep letting it hold me back. It's a voice in my head, a little whisper I like to call the "un-cheerleader" who keeps telling me I can't do it, whatever IT happens to be at the moment. Part of why I love running so much is that it's a time when I rarely, if ever, am forced to combat this voice. It's drowned out by the tiniest noise; the gentle swish of my shoes over wet grass, the stream softly gurgling alongside the running path, my own breathing. Often towards the end of my runs I'm inundated by thoughts like, "Wow, you're doing great! This is so much fun! You could do this forever! You should run a marathon! You should run an Ultra! You should do an Ironman!! You should start an organization called 'Couch to Ironman' and encourage others to embrace a healthy and active lifestyle, and accomplish something they never thought possible! " Sometimes this voice gets a little carried away with itself :p

Or I TOLD myself that the voice was getting carried away with itself. I find that the more I listen to that voice, the more I love my life. It's the voice that told me to apply to become an officer, to strive for straight A's in college, and to buy my two beagle puppies even though I wasn't sure if I could handle the responsibility. It's the voice that told me to become a vegan. It inspired me to join Team in Training last October to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society while training for a half-marathon in Moab. It encouraged me to run another half marathon last July in Copper Mountain, and (soon to be) the Denver Rock and Roll half-marathon next weekend. That positive attitude, along with other reasons, is what made me join Team in Training again this season, this time for a full marathon. I'm coming back this season as a mentor, meaning not only will I run a full marathon next spring (which has been my dream for years!) I get to HELP people...which is kind of a big deal for me :)

I'm hoping that as I tackle the next 26.2 miles (and the supplemental training miles that go along with it) I will learn to silence my "un-cheerleader" voice, or at least have the sensibility not to listen to it. Mostly I'm excited to find out what crazy ideas I come up with on the run, and take the initiative to tackle a few of the more "unrealistic" ones :)

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