Saturday, September 29, 2012

"Just do your best"

This is my first blog post. I've been thinking of starting a blog for some time. Most that will read this, already know me.  Those that don't will hopefully get to know me along the way.  I can be a bit long winded, so hang on while I figure all this out. The blog name. I'm a singer, a trained Mezzo, and I am a runner. Two passions. One name. That's it.

I run. In case most of you hadn't guessed by the multitude of Facebook updates about running I have posted in the last two years. These, I am sure, may have people rolling their eyes or skimming and skipping to see if someone wrote something more important. But, what is Facebook for if not shameful self promotion?

Recently (today in fact), I ran my 4th half marathon. Coming off this particular half marathon I had a lot of thoughts. I got a little emotional crossing the finish, realizing I had set another goal and achieved it.

I was never one to exercise. I could not run a mile straight through in high school. I hated gym class (more on that later....maybe). In my early adulthood, I dabbled. I ran in the summers, building myself up to 3 miles and then taking the winter months off. I'd put on an extra layer of warmth (body fat) and then feel bad and try it all again.

In February of 2010, I bought an elliptical and started to exercise regularly. Then I started to add running into the mix again. In September of 2010, my best friend came back from having participated in the Relay of the Akron Marathon. me...had ran some in college (maybe more that just "some").  She was ecstatic from the energy of the whole race "scene" and she asked if I wanted to train for the half marathon in Akron the following year.

That's when my life changed. That moment. I have her to thank (or yell at).

So the training began. I completed 4 miles, 5, 6, etc. Each time baffled and amazed that I could keep adding miles and that I actually enjoyed it.

My best friend and her sister-in-law, decided that maybe we could all be ready to run the Cleveland Half in May (4 months ahead of schedule). I was skeptical. But kept it up. Sure enough, I did the training and I was able to complete it.

I did the Akron Half in 2011, had a better finish than Cleveland. I did Cleveland 2012, had a better finish than Akron 2011. And now another PR from Akron Half 2012. Back in June, I started training for a full marathon (which is in Columbus next month).

It's hard to really put into words what running means to me. Yes, the physical exercise and cardiovascular benefits are a plus. But, really it's about so much more.

You learn how to set goals, how to complete them. How to forgive a bad run and praise a good run. You learn your limits and when to push past them. You learn to accept that some days are just better than others. Push here, pull back there, surge forward. Listen to your body,  listen to your heart. Important life lessons.
So, I try to incorporate this in my everyday life. I am not always successful but I am learning to forgive myself when I am not.

I never thought I would be passionate about exercise (see above). I never even thought it would be something I would enjoy.  I have things I enjoy: music, movies, true blood (No spoilers! I don't have cable!), cake (lots of cake), The Avett Brothers, any movie involving Ryan Gosling or Adrien Brody. Then I have things I am passionate about: singing, my friends and family, my husband, running, and The Avett Brothers (just kidding....but seriously).

Until another day...thanks for reading.