Thursday, July 26, 2012

Excuses, excuses...

I ran 11.25 miles this morning. Unbelievable, especially to me. I created a new loopy figure-eight route in my neighborhood, which worked out perfectly. It takes me up more hills than down (for reasons I really want to figure out), on slippy gravel, potholed dirt, and smooth pavement, past mean dogs that force me to carry a handful of gravel to scare them off with (less dangerous than bear spray, and works well so far), and under the tree that the local peacock roosts in at night, and drops tail feathers from this time of year. I listen to Vivaldi, watch the sun come up, wave to passing motorists on their way to work, and ponder just how I got to this place in life.

About 3 years ago I was ready to surrender to old age and a growing waistline. It's what happens... or at least that's what we're told. I bought bigger clothes, avoided mirrors, and enjoyed fatty foods like there was no tomorrow, because I really thought I had no choice. If someone had suggested that at age 55 I'd be a whole-hearted vegan, about to run a half marathon, I would have laughed so hard I'd pee my pants. But here I am.

It's easy to make excuses about why we can't do something. When the idea of this race first came up, my excuses were something like: I'm too old. I hate running. I don't know how to run. I've never been a runner. I'm too fat. I live at 7,000 feet. It's bad for my knees. People will think I'm crazy. I don't have anything to wear...

Really? Was that the best I could do? Too old? Never. We can always make changes in our lives. I hate running? The next two excuses kind of cancel that one out. How could I hate something I'd never done and didn't now how to do? Too fat? Well what better way to deal with a fat ass than to get off it and move? High elevation? Sure, it makes for some interesting training, but imagine how much easier it will be to run at sea level on race day. Bad for my knees? Only if I do it wrong, so learning to do it right was important, and totally possible. Crazy? I'm used to people thinking that, and I even kind of like it. And as for nothing to wear, sweats and a t-shirt are fine to start with, and now I have an excuse to buy cute new running clothes. Problem solved. All problems solved, just by taking the first step.

So next time I find myself making excuses for not doing something that would benefit me,, or that I really want to do, I'm going to sit right down and make a list of all the excuses, and then set about tearing them apart. We all make excuses, and we can all call ourselves on it. Right now.