So, I’ve decided to give this whole ‘running’ thing a go again. I haven’t officially signed up for it, but there’s a half marathon in November that is calling my name. Eventually (maybe next year?) I want to work my way up to a full marathon, but I’m not quite ready to think of that just yet. So, for now, another half it is.
Next week, my 10-week half marathon training plan will officially start, but I decided to head out on a 4-mile run yesterday to start prepping myself for the longer distances. (Lately, with my time constraints I’ve only been able to work in 2 and 3 mile runs, and those have been few and far between, to be quite honest.) And even though this run was only 4 miles – not even a third of what I’m signing up for – this thing seriously kicked my butt! I had to stop and walk a few times, and maybe even got a tad frustrated with myself at times (shhhh… Miss Positive Pants here can’t admit that, right? Pretend you didn’t hear that.)
So, when my run/walk/curse fest was complete, I hit the ‘save’ button on my MapMyRun software that tracks my routes and times, and I noticed a new option pop up. I saw this:
Hmmmm. Rate my run, huh? Ok, let’s see what my options are.
First up, was this one:
“Finished with a Smile.” HA! Well, I suppose we can mark that one off the list. NEXT!
“Crushed my Goal.” Hmmmm. Well, I suppose if my goal had been to survive, then I could choose this one. Barely. But, alas, it wasn’t. My true goal was actually to run 4 miles without stopping. And that didn’t pan out so well. Well, poo.
“Kicked Butt.” Aha! Ok, now we’re talking! Check!
Crap. I think this is saying that I kicked butt with the run. Shoot. My bad. I thought it was saying the run kicked MY butt. I thought I finally had one I could choose here. *Sigh*
Back to the drawing board….
“Took it Easy.” Hmmmm. We’re getting warmer. Ok, I guess I could choose this one. But that would be a lie. Because I didn’t really take it easy. Yes, I walked some. But it wasn’t because it was my intention. It was because I was mad at myself and I was tired. And I sure didn’t “take it easy” on myself, that’s for sure. So…. Close, but no cigar. Looks like there’s only one option left.
Here we go….
“Grew Strong.” Ok, what? That’s it?? No matter how much I jammed my finger across the screen on my smartphone, the stupid thing wouldn’t scroll anymore to the right for more options. Seriously, that’s all I’ve got to choose from?
They’re called “Happy Badges.” Somehow I missed that at the beginning of the instructions. “Pick Your Happy Badge.”
Ha! Happy Badge? Really? I was miserable. I was lazy. I was out of shape; out of breath; out of patience. How the heck am I supposed to pick a happy badge?
And that’s when it dawned on me.
Everything that happens in your life – everything – whether it’s running related or not, falls into one of these categories.
Think about it.
I mean, yeah, it would be great if we could always pick those first four options. Crushing goals, kicking butt, and finishing with a smile are always good things. And sometimes you’re not going to get the absolute best results because you chose to “take it easy.” Nothing wrong with that, right? A life filled with those first four options would be fantastic. Perfect, even.
But unfortunately…. Yeah. Unfortunately, things don’t end up that way all of the time.
And that’s ok. Because you know why?
Sometimes that fifth option is necessary.
If life weren’t filled with things that make you stronger – failures, disappointments, life lessons – I don’t think we’d ever have the opportunity to pick those other options at all. How could you feel the thrill of finishing with a smile or kicking butt if you hadn’t worked through the tough parts to get there? Where would be the sense of pride in crushing a goal if you had never known those times where you fell short, and had the courage and perseverance to get up and try again?
You see what I’m getting at here?
So, no. No goals were crushed this time. No butts were kicked other than my own. But did I grow strong? You darn right I did. I got my butt up off the couch and I started the process that is going to lead me to another half marathon, and that will eventually lead me to a full marathon one day, and that will ultimately lead me to where I’ve been headed all along.
A place where I am proud of myself.
‘Grew Strong’ happy badge? Don’t mind if I do.
“The race does not always go to the swift, but to the ones who keep running.”