Wake up newbies; it ain’t all glam glam

I know, I know-I said this would be all about the food but I just can’t help myself today. I woke up in a tizzy this morning over people just not honoring my sport. Everyone knows how personal running is to me. Even when I’m not doing it as much, even when it feels harder than anything I have ever done before, even when I am starting from scratch, there is a love there that is unparalleled. I love running more than I have ever loved anything or anyone in my life. (I guess my children come in as a close second, KIDDING) And it’s not because the actual movement itself-it’s because of the relationships built around the sport, the moments I only had because of the sport and the sweating and the bleeding, the sacrificing we all do to participate in the sport. You can swim, spin, play tennis, whatever–there is nothing in the whole wide world like running. There is a reason a majority of the population hates it–its fucking hard work. If you want to be good at it (in my case super amateur good) you have to work hard. You have to get up early. You have to go to bed before other people. You have to eat a certain way. You have to give up lots of things. Sure, you can be cavalier about it, but please, don’t fuck around with pretending. Show some respect or don’t bother.

This may sound harsh. I know. But I gave up a lot when I trained for the Boston Marathon so I take offense when people say things on the great wide internet that just sound ridiculous. Miles was 3, almost 4 when I trained for Boston. Emma was 8. I had young kids who needed things. Needed me on cold, snowy Saturday mornings. Needed me to be present after school. I had a husband who wanted time, love and attention. Meals to be prepped and cooked. A house and a job, both of which required a ton of work. I think it is interesting when people think that runners just find time that falls out of the sky. When people don’t realize the things we turn our back on when we make a commitment to the sport. There is a lot more to this than just showing up for the race. It is spiritual. It is emotional. And it’s worth it. Every single day of the week.

Saturday mornings my running group meets. Rain or shine. Snow or extreme sun. These people are there waiting for one another so that miles can be smushed in before most of the world even wakes up. There is a women who has three young children who qualified for Boston last year. Another women has three teeny tiny boys, she popped out a baby 8 months ago and now has better times than she ever had prior. There are runners who work till 8 PM every night, there are runners with teenagers, runners who are 80, runners who have never thought about doing anything else except showing up. I look at Allison, who just had her son in September and wouldn’t take no for an answer-she was raging to get back to running as soon as she was given clearance to do so. The love is real but don’t get it twisted, so isn’t the juggling. There was no fear upon her return, she showed up ready to get shit done.

You have to have a deep talk with yourself before you enter down this road. Do you want it? How bad? You willing to fight for it? How much. When it gets hard, guess what, you better go harder. You’re tired? Guess what, me too. This sport waits for no one and it doesn’t take days off. That’s what makes it so beautiful. There is a sacred vow we take when we enter into each mile. The finish line is never just a casual encounter, it is always, I mean always, earned.

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