Thursday, September 6

I am batman

I ran a 5k this Saturday.

If you know me, you understand how crazy that is as I've been allergic to all things running for as long as I can remember.

But that changed.

Some sorority sisters go tanning and talk about how guys are assholes and drink cosmos.  My pledge mom coordinates an 8 hour road trip to a 5k where runners get chased by zombies and finish the race virtually "dead" and coated in mud.  Don't get me wrong, we've had our shopping trips and cried about boys and many beach outings, but this was a new adventure.

I completed my leg of driving as we rolled into Pittsburgh's finest Super 8, armed with nothing more than a fountain soda and a phenomenal playlist compiled by my awesome (and weary) co-pilot, a great friend and inspiring runner her own right.  Just four hours later, we headed over to race, already in zombie mode.  After all,  they were slated for a 9:30 zombie wave, and had to be zombified beforehand.

Properly adorned in fake blood, mud, and even prosthetics, they set out scare and collect the health flags of innocent runners who were just trying to survive.  I made my way towards the spectator area, observing a giant water slide and an even more intimidating hill.  I'd never "run" anything before, and as I gleaned a field of mud pits, fences, and walls that would soon lay before me, I had no idea how the hell I was going to muddle (no pun intended) through this course.  My training and hard work was merely a pathetic mouse squeak in the face of an elephantine course.  I don't scare too easily,* but this was daunting.

Ironically, the second I decided to run was the moment I stopped running; running from fear, from myself, from every and any excuse to bail--nasty humidity, the knee pain of an 80-year-old grandpa, very little sleep, major sinus issues, a headache from our non-smoking reservation turned smoker's lung of a room.  I didn't conquer my hatred of running and train that hard just to back out.  I couldn't let twinges of fear and soreness of my old failure-to-follow-through ways stop me.  I was going to survive this course, if not the zombie apocalypse, or die trying.

Less than an hour later, I found myself caked in mud, down three health flags, and exhausted, literally crawling toward the finish line (under an electric fence) with a shit (or brain) eating grin on my face, placing 75th out of 291 participants in my wave.  I had done it, accomplishing a year-long goal as my mud-logged sneakers scraped across the finish line.

Every year when New Year resolutions roll around, I try to pick something that I know is good for me to do that I don't necessarily like.  It keeps my discipline muscle strong. They've ranged from going to the gym, to eating more vegetables, to cutting that toxic guy out of my life, to reading more often.  These missions are the Batman to my Gotham City self.  They aren't the things I need, but they're what I deserve, even if I don't initially want them.  Usually, the disdain fades away, and I end up liking these new found habits.

This year I chose running, and as we passed this year's half-way point, I had yet to jog forward on this goal.  When opportunity came knocking, I ran.  It (once again) taught me the invaluable lesson that most of our constraints are self-inflicted.  We're never too old, or too young, or too big, or too small, or too scared, or too hurt, or "too." We have the power to create whatever reality we want.  We only live the life that we resign ourselves to, so we should resign ourselves to something really great.

Who knows, maybe a 10k is around the corner.  Or maybe an alien 5k is next.

Imagine you.


*(except for horror films and mice)

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