©2019 THE SMILE PROJECT

Never Underestimate Togetherness - Res 42

October 29, 2017

Intro:

The New Year had me thinking a lot about goals, values, ambitions, motivations, life, and how excited I was to wear my new fuzzy socks. With all the talk of “look how far you’ve come in a year” and “can you believe that was only 1 year ago” I found myself even more reflective and nearly bubbling over with blog ideas – two of which involved writing about goals and values. 

 

At my old job, we had a list of working norms – kind of like guiding values – and each day at our morning huddle, we would say what working norm we were focusing on that day. I loved that idea. I mean, obviously, in theory, you were living into every positive attribute every day you walked into the office, but how nice it was to really put your heart and soul behind one guiding value each week. 

 

For this reason, I’ve decided to dedicate a new series of “Res” posts to my own kind of working norms – my own mini-resolutions. You don’t have to buy into any of these. You don’t have to make your own. But maybe at some point, it’ll make you think about what it would look like to radically change your life one week at a time.

 

Res 42: Never Underestimate Togetherness

We are one week out from the 2017 NYC Marathon and I could not be more excited. For months I’ve been following my training plan and with every step I’ve felt power come back to me in new ways. It’s been one of the most amazing experiences of my life – even just in the act of disciplined training. I could not be more excited for what next week will bring.

 

But this isn’t about next week. This is about this Sunday’s run – my last “long run” on my training plan. Since June, I’d become accustomed to waking up at the crack of dawn to put in my miles before going to church, but after staying up late (hi Halloween weekend), I decided I could afford to run after church.

 

So I didn’t check the weather. It was a drizzly morning but by the time I would leave my church, it would be 100% all day. My friends and family in Pennsylvania would later tell me they heard a big storm was coming through New York and that I should stay in for the day and eat soup. Guess I missed that memo.

 

After service, I stepped onto the street. It certainly wasn’t going to stop raining anytime soon. I started my watch and began my path toward Central Park. At first it was alright. The rain was a nice. It wasn’t too cold either so despite not being properly dressed, I felt good about the situation. I had left my headphones behind for fear of the elements. I was alone with my thoughts as I played out months of training and what next Sunday would entail.

 

I was about 55 minutes into my run when the tide changed. Last month I wrote about rain running. But I thought I’d learned my lesson. I had put in my contacts and traded my headband for my visor – completely shielding my face from the storm. When I was getting dressed, I thought I was so crafty for thinking ahead. Fifty five minutes in, I realized I was not crafty and also, I was in deep trouble.

 

The Central Park loop had started to pool water. While at first, I’d been dodging puddles, it now seemed that the entire road was forming new rivers by the second. The rain fell in sheets and my two layers of clothing clung to me as I wiped the droplets from my watch to check the time. The rain continued to batter me and the select few others that had remained on the course to the point that I was certain I would have pulled over had I been driving.

 

But I knew pulling over wasn’t an option on this run. I had to get out of the park and I had to get home. Of course, that didn’t mean I couldn’t have fun with it. As I passed the next person, I gave a thumbs up and smile. He returned the signal and we both nodded – we were, for those 4 seconds of passing, in this together.

 

The next woman I crossed path with exchanged a high five and a smile. The next man raised his water bottle to mine and we cheered. Another person yelled “woohoo” and yet another made a reference of “running to Sunday.” I smiled. I waved. I laughed. And I ran.

 

Resolution #42: Never Underestimate Togetherness

After a well-earned hot shower and meal, I turned to my app to check out my splits for the run. It was one of my best runs and yet it felt so effortless. I felt so connected to myself, the park, the weather, and my fellow runners. And above all that, I felt ready.

 

People keep asking me if I’m ready for the marathon next week. In terms of physical strength – absolutely. I have so much faith in my body and in my training plan. I know I have done everything I can to prepare. In terms of mental stamina – absolutely. Absolutely, because today I remembered that it’s not just me out there. Today, I remembered that in moments where you almost want to falter, or curse the weather, or beat yourself up for forgetting to ice your knee (again), you have an entire crew of people (and strangers) in your corner. And that’s really incredible.

 

Love always,

Liz

 

 

 

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