No one ever believes me.
No matter how much I preface beforehand as soon as the words "I'm running a half-marathon tomorrow" come out of my mouth people refuse to believe I'm not an athlete.
No really. In high school I thought runners were worse than nerds. I thought sitting and practicing for a math-a-thon sounded like more fun than going out for a jog.
When I decided I wanted to become a runner I downloaded a C25K App (Couch to 5K) and the first run it takes you on says to run for SIXTY seconds and walk for ninety and I COULDN'T DO IT!
I couldn't jog for a MINUTE. That's how much I'm not a runner.
Before I ran my first 5K I'd never even gotten that far. I'd been running walking on and off, but I'd never even made it to 3.1 miles before that race.
Before I ran my 10K last July, I'd never gone farther than the 3.1 miles I ran in that 5K, not even with walking!
But still, people look at me and say, "Oh of course YOU could run a half marathon, but I could NEVER."
This sucks for two reasons.
1) I'm alone. People automatically assume they're not good enough to run with me, so they don't. OR people are athletes and think I'll be able to keep up with them. Either way, I'm alone. I run ahead, because the people I could run with don't run, or I'm running far behind.
But gosh darnit, here I am, running anyway.
2) It sucks because other people excuse themselves from trying. This just makes me sad.
It makes me wonder how many things they'd be great at if only they tried things.
I went rock climbing for the first time this year and WOW! It's like a puzzle, but instead of hovering over it, it hovers over you! It was amazing! Of course, my arms and legs were burning and I was toast after one climb, but it was so. much. fun.
But six years ago I had friends that rock climbed all the time and I thought "Oh, no, I don't like heights. I could never." So I didn't. And I've been missing out. That makes me sad.
Now when people talk about accomplishing things I think I could never, I'm inspired. If it's not my thing, I think about how I could apply that inspiration to my thing. For example, when I meet a musician... I'm not that musically inclined, but I do love to write. I think about challenging my writing the way they challenge their music-ing.
So now, I try not to say, "I could never."
And tomorrow I will run my first half marathon.
And God help me, I will cross the finish line.
Then I will put a big ugly bumper sticker on my car and I'll do it again, faster and stronger than before.
(Did I mention, God, help me? Please help me.)