I'm going to try to incorporate a couple different things in here, so forgive me if I'm a little scattered! I meant to write on Saturday, but we rearranged the family Easter dinner to Saturday, and then on Sunday Rich and I just had a nice, relaxing day.
Between Rich and I tag-teaming with the flu in the earlier part of the year, and the numerous dental issues I had to deal with during this month, as well as getting used to a new schedule at work (promotion!), and any other random excuse I came up with, my running has been anything but "on schedule" for most of 2013. I started getting back on a plan, fell off track, got back on, fell off again - it's been like that for the last few months. Natalie, one of the running club coaches at work (who is also one of the Biggest Loser organizers) let us know a couple weeks back that there would be a running program starting up at Fleet Feet in West Hartford on 3/30. It's a 10 week program, and Natalie said that work might be able to pay the fee for us (~ $100). I debated back and forth for a little bit, as getting up at 7am on my day off was not on my list of priorities. The upcoming races I've already signed up for do happen to be on that list though, and my ass needs to get training! I thought that signing up for something, and having others rely on me to be there, would be a great way for me to commit to running again. So I agreed, and she said work would foot the bill. Sweet!
So there I was on Saturday morning at 8:45am - at the Fleet Feet store with way more people than I had expected to be there! The program started out with "Week 1" being a 1.5 mile walk/run which I thought would be a piece of cake. We'd alternate 2 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking. About 4 minutes into it, the reality of how much time I'd taken off from running had set in. I was at the back of the pack already and got back into my old mentality. I became the girl I was when I did my first 5k. Why did I decide to do this? I'm too fat to be a runner. I'm not ready for this. Look how far behind I am already! Why did these other people sign up for this group when they're so far ahead of me? They ARE runners! They don't need this! They're not like me. And then I had to give myself the little pep talk. I am better than this bullshit voice in my head that keeps telling me I can't do it. I CAN DO IT! And I HAVE done it! And at that moment, as one of the trainers' iPod's went off signaling that we were switching from walking back to running, I heard "Let Love In" by the Goo Goo Dolls. As weird as this may sound, it let me know that I was right where I needed to be. Meeting the Goo's back in 2011 was something I was able to cross of my bucket list that I NEVER thought would ever happen. And in that same year, I crossed "finish a 5k" off the list too. Something else that I never thought I would do. Those two things went hand in hand - and were the reason behind me getting my latest tattoo in the latter part of that year. It was my symbol that anything is possible, and that I am capable of anything that I set into motion. As I crossed the last street this past Saturday, and headed back to the start/finish at the Fleet Feet store with 2 of the coaches at my side, I was the last runner. But I still knew that I was a runner. And actually, the timer beeped that it was time to walk again, but I ran that last little bit just because I knew I could :)
Today was my day off. It's a little weird having Tuesdays off and not getting 2 weekend days like most people do. But I normally get a lot of errands and stuff done on Tuesdays. I got my run in today like I was supposed to, and then I tackled getting rid of a lot of paperwork that I had been hanging on to. The amount of paper I've accumulated since the injury back in 2009 is astonishing. But my case is finally settled. I am putting a very rough part of my past behind me and moving on. It was tough going through all that stuff - it made the wounds of all I went through feel very fresh. I could feel the sting of my old bosses' lies. I could feel the pressure from each time I received another doctor's bill, wondering if my credit would become even more fucked up with each passing month. I could feel the stabbing pain in my leg as days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months into years as I waited for the surgery. But with each piece of paper I tore up, I felt just a little bit freer. Each shred that went in the trash made me feel a little bit prouder of who I've become. Before my injury I don't know that I ever would have dreamed of doing a 5k, a marathon, or even a lap around the block. Everything we go through teaches us something, and I learned a lot about who I am and what I am capable of over the last 4(ish) years. When I arrive on Fleet Feet this coming Saturday morning, even if I'm still at the back of the pack, I will be proud that I'm not sitting on the couch and that I am doing something I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to do. I will be proud of who I am, what I have accomplished, and all that lies ahead of me.