Pats on the back!

Team Segullah made an impressive showing at the virtual marathon this past weekend. Worthy participants included me (Heather H., five months pregnant), Kathy (beginning runner trusty editor-in-chief), Justine (experienced runner board member), Sharlee (new runner board member), and Andrea (pinch runner for team member who moved to a foreign country and decided maybe training in a new neighborhood where no one speaks your language might be too much to add to her plate.  Good decision I say.)

So, the virtual marathon was a team effort, where five members split up 26.2 miles into ten legs of a race and then ran them over two days. Our team completed the race in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 56 seconds.  We haven’t heard about our competitor’s results yet . . .but the beauty of this experience couldn’t be much improved by winning, we already had such a great time doing it. (Well maybe it would be fun to have bragging rights about winning too . . .)

But really, the joy of a challenge like this comes from setting a goal and achieving it. Sharlee has never been a runner, but she decided to give it a try and found that her body can exceed her mind’s expectations. She lost a toenail in the process, but reports that it is still worth it, “I’m actually very proud of myself. I don’t say/think/feel that very often, but I’m learning to be, as Anne Lamott puts it, ‘militantly and maternally on my own side.’ Not in a self-centered, selfish sort of way—just in a loving, maternal, forgiving sort of way. I’m learning, in the 46th year of my life, to mother myself.” I think we could all stand to let ourselves be proud more often. I say it’s easier to do with something like running. You set a goal to run this many miles and you do it. So much of what we endeavor to accomplish in life is difficult to measure; we don’t get to pat ourselves on the back very often; so today I am giving myself a pat, and sending out virtual pats to my other team members as well.

In the post I wrote last Spring about becoming a runner I talked about some of what challenging my body and self and then succeeding has given me. As I pushed myself further than I would have in order to complete this race, even though my expectant self didn’t really want to, I found that I could still do it. At some point each of us on the team had to overcome mental and physical blocks to do more than we really thought we could. If you keep at running long enough you will get to a point where you change gears, your body will adapt, adjust, and perform without fighting every step of the way. It takes training, consistency and practice, but it happens.  Kathy said, “It made me wonder if the same phenomenon happens spiritually, when you push yourself past the sweat-and-tears stage of change, and suddenly you’re flying.” I think you’re onto something Kathy.

Here’s to more euphoric moments of getting over sweat-and-tears (be it physical or spiritual) and moving on to flying.  (Hopefully we’ll pat ourselves on the back a little more often as well. In fact, share some of your recent successes here.)

8 thoughts on “Pats on the back!

  1. I love that I’m overcoming my natural tendencies and inclinations. It makes me feel that I’m not ruled by my body, but rather the other way around. I love that my body wakes up three minutes before my alarm goes off at 5:20 every morning. I love that I can solve the world’s problems with my running partner while forgetting that I’m actually running.

    I love that I feel absolutely no guilt about eating a Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate square once in a awhile.

    And Heather, you deserve the pat on the back! I ran while pregnant, too, but I never would go more than 2-3 miles. You go get yourself a chocolate square, honey!

  2. Awesome, Segullah-ers. (Is that a word?)

    It was great to have you participating in the inaugural run. And you all ran very well, including pregnant (wow) or toe-less or beginner runners. Rock on, Segullah women.

    And I’m sure we’ll see you all next time. :)

  3. I am really grateful that you asked me to run for Blog Segullah. I had asthma growing up (and even into my 20′s), so I’ve always had a mental block against running, with flashbacks of high school PE 12-minute runs where I ended up gasping and wheezing from sheer anxiety. Every time I go out to run, whether it’s on the road or on a treadmill, I have to fight past those fears and tell myself that I’m strong and I can run. I’m training for a triathlon at the end of this month, and the run is definitely the scariest part for me. Taking part in this event helped me on my path to overcoming my fears and not only strengthening my body, but strengthening my soul.

  4. I am opting for dulce de leche ice cream instead :-)

    Andrea, you’ll have to keep us posted about your triathlon results.

  5. I just realized I skimmed over this so fast yesterday that I missed that Anne Lamott quote. Where is that from? I LOVE that. I don’t think there’s enough patting ourselves on the back for things, not enough being on our own sides. Thanks for including that here, and really, will you tell us where to find the quote (and who Anne Lamott is)?

  6. Wendy, the quote is from Anne Lamott’s book, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith. Lamott is a contemporary writer who is, to use the words of a reviewer from The Seattle Times, “sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise, and alternately cranky and kind.” I love her books, especially Traveling Mercies and Plan B, but I have to warn you that she has a major potty-mouth (which bothers me a lot, but I’ve learned to leap right over her favorite naughty words with my eyes closed because the rest of her words are just so good).

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