Saturday, July 26, 2008


I finished a 5K race today.

This is not a big deal for most people, but for the girl who routinely came in 5th or 6th--counting from the end--at cross country races in junior high, this was a huge deal.

I'd set myself a goal of finishing a 5K race by the time I'm 50. I know it is a lowly goal and the time frame provides plenty of time to procrastinate. But I did dowload a 3-month training schedule for people doing their first races. On my first day trying out the program, I discovered I couldn't even do the very easy first session. Always one to give in to disappointments, I gave up. I think I must have restarted the program four or five times.

So my sister-in-law and her husband are visiting us. They've both run marathons (you can see where this is going, can't you?) and when they read that there would be a 5K race this morning, they decided to run it and even convinced my husband to join them. I offered to watch the kids.

Last night, my husband started feeling ill and didn't think he would be able to run. "Yee, you should take his place." After laughing hysterically for a few seconds, I suddenly found the idea very appealing. Maybe it's the glass of Oyster Bay Saugivnon Blanc that I'd consumed, or maybe being in the presence of people with stamina made me feel I had stamina as well. it was going to happen, I was going to run!

Woke up this morning with my irrational exuberance still intact. It stayed with me all the way till my lungs started to burst, which was at around the half-mile point. I walked most of the way, running in short spurts. Little kids, folks who looked much older than I, and a man with a brace on his knee overtook me. But my goal was to complete the race. And I did. I even ran the last little bit.

It felt good; the type of good feeling that comes from having completed a task, a feeling that has become quite rare these days. Household chores, parenting, writing: these are all on-going tasks with no real, definitive endings. Much as I am energized by new ideas, loose ends, when accumulated, are a source of dissatisfaction; a quiet nag, nag, nag, that zaps energy and induces a sense of malaise.

Thank goodness the opportunity dropped into my lap suddenly, without pre-meditation (and thus no opportunities for procrastination and excuses.)

Refreshed, I am ready to tackle my never-ending tasks, including one stubborn novel which had gone through more revisions than I'm willing to admit.
After all, someone who can finish a 5K race can face anything!

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