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.)