Sharks? Yes there are sharks, Asthma Girl Runner, do you want to be the next sea-lion? Or do you wish to swim away to safety? My vacation with my beautiful children was incredible, and it forced me to face so many unpleasant thoughts and feelings, it forced me to view my life outside the safety of the swimming pool and in the vastness of the ocean, or perhaps a shark filled aquarium, or bigger yet, the Ohio River.
As we stood on the Carew Tower and I took pictures, hands shaking afraid I would drop my iPhone on the people below, trying to reassure my very frightened daughter that she was safe, I had to face that there’s no bubble, there is no safety, and I’ve been taking risks to avoid the real kind that have costs I don’t want to pay for. Avoidant? Yes, I’ve been that and I still am…..but being loved forced me to look at why I don’t love back, and why I am so avoiding love right now. I know why but I don’t like to face it…..I know my kids will always love me, and my friends. But relationships come and go, and I have been avoiding the potential loss of anyone by not becoming attached. I’ve been avoiding…..pain….I’m scared, I guess.
As we drove home on 75N I was filled with sadness when we reached the edge of the city…..whether because the vacation was over and ending vacation is always sweetly sad or because I had to face reality, I knew it meant I needed to write about it once I had processed it thoroughly. I know that I have let myself down as an athlete and I didn’t feel good about that…my knee had some pain when I tried to run on vacation and not running was smart but I felt as if I were destroying myself at the same time. I get so conflicted when I cannot workout especially when my diet is garbage, and yet I cannot seem to eat properly when I am not working out six days a week. I know other athletes can identify with this quandary.
So what does that mean for Asthma Girl Runner…..well she has been squatting like a mad fiend but she hasn’t been eating right and she hasn’t been running on schedule or keeping up with her training plan. Now, since I haven’t been training for a half-marathon because I wanted to treat my kids to a vacation instead, that they were long, long overdue for, I have had trouble staying on track. I’ve made plenty of excuses and worked long hard hours in school but fact is, I matter too. My training matters. I need to risk the pain. I need to run because it’s who I am, how I stay sane, how I conquer my personal obstacles. I can’t run away from running, I have to run through it. When I cannot run, I need to swim, that’s why I have that rec membership I sacrificed for, where my safe swimming pool is located.
I don’t feel like I’ve answered the deepest underlying problems and doubts (that I didn’t know I had, I was so happy?) but I know this. When I run, it all becomes clearer. So I will just run. Every single day, I’m going to run a little bit, even if it’s just a mile some days. It’s my promise to myself as I get myself in gear. Instead of the squat challenge, it’s the thirty-day running challenge, and there’s no day like today to lace up my shoes and head out.