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 43: Run
*This post was prewritten on Sunday, October 29 2017, one week before the New York City Marathon*
I started running in seventh grade because my older brother ran. Four laps around our yard was about one mile. My father or brother would stand in the driveway, my dog would stand at the window, and I would lap the property. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, a hill workout in the pouring rain and the first time I ran 10, a run that dissolved into easy conversation with my teammate. I remember my first cross country race, my first track event, and my first non-school affiliated road race.
Running has given me so much – my best friends, my health, and my confidence. It has been my connection to some of the most beautiful people you could ever want to meet. It has provided me with a healthy lifestyle and above that, it has helped me feel strong and beautiful.
Five years ago, I lost a part of myself and began to doubt a lot of who I was. I’ve held on to so much of that doubt for five years. Five months ago, I began training for my first marathon and as the weeks went by, I found myself blooming in ways I hadn’t even realized I had left malnourished. I learned to trust my body and my mind as I crossed out workouts on my calendar.
Three years ago, I ran into a hiccup of health issues that tossed me from doctor to specialist and back again. I was weak to the point that walking was a chore – the concept of running, completely laughable. I asked, once, when I’d be able to run again. The doctor suggested I look into less strenuous sports. He couldn’t see me working back up to more than a 5K. But five months ago, I began training for my first marathon.
Training for the marathon has been the privilege of a lifetime. I never imagined at age 23, I’d be preparing to run the New York City marathon. I never imagined at age 23, I would feel so at peace with what I am capable of.
Regardless of what happens on Sunday, November 5th, I am going to run. I am going to run for the times when I couldn’t get out of bed. I’m going to run for the times when I thought I would never be able to get myself back into the habit.
Most of all, though, I’m going to run because my incredible body is going to allow me to. Throughout the past five months, I have watched myself grow stronger in every sense of the word. More than all that, though, it is mine. I feel like for the first time in a long time, I have regained control of myself. And the only person that gets to make any decision regarding my body is me.
Resolution #43: Run
I have a small stone I keep on my desk that I received from former colleagues at one of my first jobs in New York City. The stones say different words on them like “laughter” or “inspiration” or “journey.” I always thought of them as the “take what you need” signs where people include words like “hope” and “love” and then hang the sign in a public space so people can rip off what they need.
I held onto my stones for a long time. I took what I needed. And then, I passed them along. I gave “inspiration” to someone who inspires me and “laughter” to people who can always make me smile. Power remains on my desk for two reasons – first to remind myself that nobody can have unjust power over me and secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, to remind myself of the strength and courage that lies within me.
On Sunday, November 5th, I will take the ferry to Staten Island and I will join over 51,000 other runners to take on the 5 boroughs. On Sunday, November 5th, I will hold onto my Power stone and I will run.