April 26, 2011

Ghosts of Running Past

Okay. I'm having some serious junior high track flashbacks nightmares here. I guess the upcoming race... NEWSFLASH--My first Half Marathon is Sunday!...is starting to get to me a little bit.

See, when I was a teenager, I wasn't really athletic. But I lived in a very "athletic" town. Like, if you wanted to be somebody then you needed to be athletic. (If only I knew then what I know now! ) So I did sports. I played basketball. Oh wait, I mean I sat on the bench and got yelled at in practices for running into people because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. And I ran wind sprints for leaving my clothes and text books in the locker room. I played basketball, but I never actually played basketball.

Anyway, if you wanted to play basketball you also had to run track. Well, I was slow. And I didn't really know about working hard so I was slow with no potential to get faster. I was a "shot and disk girl." I threw the discus and shot put at our weekly track meets. But I also was entered, against my will, in the 800 m dash at our weekly track meets. That's 2 laps around the track.

(I have already had to stop myself twice from using inappropriate language. And I don't use inappropriate language. This is really stirring up some emotions...)

Have I mentioned that I am an anxious person? Yeah, always have been. This 800 m contest did not help. I would lay awake nights before a track meet literally sick because of my nerves. I would picture myself coming in dead last, sucking wind and then puking everywhere. I would devise plans like eating Sweet Tarts just before I took off so it would make me more relaxed. Emotional eating at its most bizarre...

On Sunday I am going to run the equivalent of more than 50 laps around a track. HOLY COW! I'm a little scared. There. I said it.  I wasn't going to do this but then I thought No, you have to write it. You are thinking it--write it, document it.

Okay, so I'm scared. What if I can't do it? I know, I know. I've worked really hard, I'm strong, if I can run 7-- I can run 13. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.

But what if I can't?

Why is it so hard to set a goal? I'll tell you why. Because every time you do, it creates the possibility for failure. No one wants to fail. Failure is hard. It's embarrassing. It's humbling. It's painful. It can be debilitating. And every time we set a goal we create the possibility for failure.

So that's it. I was going to add the cliche ending that ties up all my thoughts into a happy little rainbow and puppy dog resolution. But I can't. Flat out--I'm afraid of failing and that's basically all I needed to say. That and I'm thinking about getting some SweetTarts for Sunday.


Lily Fluffbottom said...

What does failing mean? Coming in last? Not completing it at all? Completing it but griping about every step and mile?

Not going because you're afraid?

You will be awesome. You will rock every minute and mile, and I can't wait to hear about it when you do!

Deb Willbefree said...

Well. So what if you aren't able to run the entire halfer? I mean, really. So what?

Does that make you a bad mother or wife or daughter? Really. If you can't run, stop and walk. This is not a mandatory exercise in life that you have to pass or you'll have a black L on your forehead forever and God won't let you into heaven.

But you know that.

Hugs, Keelie. Really. You've trained. You'll do as well as you can do. It will be enough.


Ex Yo-Yo Dieter Debbie said...

Keelie, you can do it. I understand your nervousness - I just ran my first race (Disney Princess half marathon) in February. I was scared about the same things.

Once you actually get there and start running, you'll be fine. Just pace yourself to take it easy at the beginning so you don't burn out towards the end. You can do it!

The adrenaline, the flow of the other runners, the energy of the spectators will carry you, even when it gets a bit tough.

Write something that inspires you on the back of your hand in Sharpie marker - that way, you can look at it when you need a boost. (Mine is/was "This is your dream")

You can do it!

PS I was the benched basketball player and shotput/discus girl in Jr. High, too! I'd forgotten that :)

Can do mom said...

Rats! I just wrote the longest, most inspirational comment and *poof* it disappeared. Grrrr!

Well, what I was telling you was that it's time you dropped the non-athletic label. It doesn't matter what you were as a child. You are a new creation in Christ! A short high school track experience should not and must define who you are today. The fact that you are out there running a half marathon tells me that you are an athlete. Someone who is willing to step up to a challenge and face her fears.

Facing your fears is powerful stuff and the best thing is, once you do it, you're set free.

We're celebrating my husband's birthday on Sunday and I'll be thinking of and praying for you.

You ARE an athlete and you CAN do it! I'm proud of you!

Can do mom said...

Ummm, that should read:

SHOULD NOT and MUST NOT define you today, but you probably already figured that out...

Carry on!

Tiff said...

You being afraid doesn't mean anything other than that you are experiencing an EMOTION tied to the fact that you are getting ready to DO something GREAT. Use this fear as fuel to push yourself & then when you conquer it, use it to remind you that nothing is impossible!

You can do it my friend.

Molly said...

Keelie - you can do it! All of the comments are spot on - take them and fuel a positive fire. You've prepared physically now get prepared mentally. Use your recent past to prepare - you've run the distance required to be ready and mentally you pushed yourself to do it. You arent that girl in high school. Go get 'em! Picture yourself at the finish line - what feelings are you having? Mentally rehearse - you'll do great!

Absolutely, Positively Josie said...

God bless you, Keelie. Whatever happens, you're going to be fine. Philippians 4:11-13.

Reading about your teenage sports experience brought back some awkward and painful memories for me. I played basketball about half a season, or, rather, I sat on the bench and got yelled at. "PAY ATTENTION!" After all these years it stirs up something in me, too.

I'm praying for you!

Kara said...

I totally get ya! I'm doing a half marathon a week from Saturday. Last night I was looking at the race info and almost puked.

You said it yourself. You can do this. The goal is to FINISH - the rest is gravy (or fat free whipped cream).

Good luck - you can do this!

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

You won't fail! You are going to show up on Sunday at that start line, and that will be your victory! Most people will still be in bed or eating a plate of bacon. It might be a struggle, it might hurt at times, but you'll cross that finish line, and you'll be proud... no matter how long it takes!

JadeAmber said...

You. Are. Awesome. The fact that you're afraid does not change that. The fact that I know you're going to go ahead with this anyway is part of the reason for that. And you know it too...see you on the other side!