Just a couple of days ago I was thinking, I really need to come up with a way to trick myself into exercising more regularly. It was just a passing thought, and I didn't put any further energy into it at all. But thoughts are creative little beings all on their own, and I had turned one loose.
Yesterday morning I was having my tea in bed and checking my email, like I always do in the winter, and my phone rang. It was my daughter Lauren, who sounded a little bit stunned, and laughingly told me that she'd just signed up to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. This is a first for her, and being a supportive mom, I said something like, Great! That's so cool! And then jokingly I said, Maybe I should do it with you... to which Lauren said, Yeah Mom! You should! Do it! Somehow, within about a minute, I was actually considering it, and within an hour I was signed up too.
How did this happen? I am not a runner, or any other kind of athlete. It has never ever occurred to me to run anywhere at all. I'm 54. I'm out of shape. I don't even have the right shoes. But this morning it still feels like a good idea, and for several reasons. Lauren really wants me to do this, and it will be a great mother/daughter thing. I want to show her, and my other two kids, that being "my age" is not the end of the world, and can actually be a beginning. I will be 55 when I run the race, and 55 is the age my Mom was when she died of cancer in 1990. So in a way, I'm doing this for her, and also for me, to chase away that lurking fear that I might too be checked out of this planet at 55. I know that's silly. That's how fear operates. And funny enough, fear is often a good motivation for running, like for instance if a tiger is chasing you. I'm really concentrating on running toward a goal though, rather than away from something I fear, and I think that's the mindset that will get me to the finish line.
Some might say I'm having some kind of mid-life crisis. That's fine, especially since that would mean I'll live to be over 100 if I'm in the middle now. But I think it's more of a mid-life awakening. I'm still here, I'm healthy, and I'm not done yet. There's never going to be a better time than right now to do something new. And for me, this is as new as it gets.
Lauren and I have decided to blog about this whole experience together. We're not exactly clear on how that will work yet, but I think I'll just set it up so she can sign in and blog here with me. Not only do we want to document this adventure for ourselves, and use the blog to keep us motivated, we hope to inspire and encourage our readers to do things they've always wanted to do, and maybe even things they never knew they wanted to do. The point is not to just do it, because that leaves room for procrastination. It's more like Do It Now, because Now is where everything gets done.
So I'm off to buy some running shoes today. Any excuse to buy new shoes! My cute little Keen sneakers just won't do the job...
Another adventure, Kim Style. I sure didn't see this coming! Come along with me. It's going to be fun, and it's definitely taking the long way home. And keep an eye on your thoughts, friends. They have more power than we know.
Kim and Lauren are a mother/daughter team, training to run the Disneyland Half Marathon in September of 2012. Kim, the the 50-something mom is vegan, and is training at the literally breathtaking altitude of 7,000 feet in Taos, NM. She has never been any kind of athlete before. Lauren, the 20-something daughter, is mostly vegetarian, and is doing her training in Seattle, WA. Running isn't new to her, but distance running is. This weekly blog, written by both of them, documents the journey, and hopefully, will inspire a few others to follow a dream, do something that's harder than they ever imagined they'd do on purpose, and enjoy the entire journey. Find all the entries by entering "Kim and Lauren" in the "search this blog" box to the left.