• 100 Days of Good Karma: Day 29 (Starting Over… Again)

    starting over

    Saturday, August 9, 2014

    Day 29 of 100 Days of Good Karma.

    Running is my constant analogy to life.

    I consider myself a runner even though I’m not elite.  I’m not even fast.  I’ve never won a race, though I have beaten my own time.

    I consider myself a runner because it is my favorite form of meditation.

    It gives me a short term goal to focus on:  Complete this mile, this thirty minutes, this day of training.

    It is my time to think.

    Sometimes it is my time to not think.

    If I have a problem that needs solving, I approach it as if it were a running problem.

    Problem:  Feeling burnt out? Sore and exhausted?

    Solution:  Take a rest day.  Come back to it tomorrow.

    Problem:  Don’t feel like running, but it isn’t exhaustion.  Just pure laziness.

    Solution:  Take it in small steps.

    • Step 1, get dressed (some days, this is the hardest part).
    • Step 2, grab some water.
    • Step 3, go outside or climb onto the treadmill.
    • Step 4, tell yourself you’re only going to do ten minutes, and get moving.  Chances are after ten minutes, you’ll want to do more.

    Problem:  You’re coming back from a hiatus and find that you don’t have the physical capacity you once had.

    Solution:  This can be the hardest one to solve, but don’t worry.  Just start over.

    When it comes to running, I’ve done my fair share of starting over.

    • I’ve completed a half marathon (13.1 miles), then quit training and later had to relearn how to run a 5k (3.1 miles).
    • I’ve built up to almost a full marathon (26.2 miles) before making a stupid decision and wore the wrong shoes on the 18 mile long run.  I injured myself and had to take time off from running to heal.  When I started running again, I had to relearn the patience needed for a long run.
    • I’ve run a ten-mile race twice.  The first time I tried to run the course straight through and had to take a walk-break around mile 7.  Instead of celebrating that I’d run 7 miles straight, I did an ugly hate-dance all over myself because I didn’t run all 10 miles.  The second time I ran the course, I incorporated the lessons I learned from the first race.  I built in walking breaks and, as a result, I beat my own time from the first race.

    It can be frustrating to start over.  It can feel like a setback.

    Starting over requires the courage to see what is, rather than what you think should be.

    And, using my running analogy again, starting over is part of life.

    I started over again on Thursday.

    I didn’t see it for what it was at the time.

    I was too mired down in the wake of starting chemotherapy and I couldn’t cheer myself for being physically active even though I felt like I’d been hit and dragged by the cancer train.

    All I could see was my inability to run for even a minute.

    Today I realized it was just another beginning.

    Another opportunity to start over.

    Today’s silver lining:  I did 2.25 miles in 34 minutes.

    I ran 2 minutes, walked 2 minutes, repeat, repeat, repeat — a running interval I haven’t had to use for years.

    It was really damn hard.

    But I finished.  I was so happy I cried a little.  And, bonus, I ran faster and went further than Thursday.

    Once again, running has taught me a lesson:

    Being a runner isn’t about speed or distance.  It’s a mindset.

    What’s your silver lining today?  I love comments!


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6 Responsesso far.

  1. Jeannie says:

    This makes me so happy!!! I’m not a runner…never have been…always hated it….but have the desire to do it! A month ago, I ran my first 5K! I was slow, but I ran it, AND I finished! I don’t have a runner’s mind, and definitely not a runner’s body, but I still want to do it! On Friday I will be running my second 5K! For you! I’m more than nervous…already, but in your struggles with running, I’m going to do it for you and with you! I love you, Meghan and I just want you to know how much of an inspiration you are! Thank you!;)

    • Meghan says:

      Congratulations on your first 5k, Jeannie! How exciting!
      Nerves leading up to race day are totally normal. It means you’re doing something important to you. And I love that you’re running for me. I can’t wait until the next time I can run by your side.
      As for ‘not being a runner’, well… Dancers dance. Writers write. Runners run.
      If you have the desire to run, and you do something about it, then you’re a runner. You’ve already demonstrated you have a runner’s mind (you set a goal and you followed through). I’m convinced there’s no such thing as a runner’s body. There’s only your body and what you’re willing to do with it.
      Be brave. Call yourself a runner. And keep going!
      ~Love, Meghan

  2. Thuan says:

    You are absolutely right! It is a mindset! It is frustrating to start over, yes, it feels like a setback! And yes, it is really damn hard!!!! Yeah, you hear it right, I said “damn”
    Your post today is my silver lining. Does not matter what it is or when it is, the strong one should be able to start over!
    Thanks for reminding me, Meghan with an H.

    I might pick up running too! Might!!! lol
    Great night to you, Meghan. I some what wait for your post every morning!

  3. Bethany says:

    I could so relate to this! As a nonathletic, not-very-fast, only-came-to-it-later-in-life swimmer I have so certainly met my challenges. It is all about strength of mind and celebrating patience and having the courage to begin something! Thank you for the encouragement. You are the best!

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