Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Just Do It.

Last night I had a great evening out with three awesome women who at this point will remain anonymous, as they each require their own individual posts detailing said awesomeness.

For now, you should know that of these three women, two have run multiple marathons and are both gearing up to run another in the fall. One wants to qualify for Boston, one is raising money to beat cancer. The third does not consider herself a runner at all, and though she's done several triathlons, running more than 4 miles at a time is absolutely unfathomable to her.

Unfortunately for her, she made the mistake of saying so.

There are times when we have a chance to be positive, to affect change, to help someone see the light, so to speak, and to become better versions of themselves. I believe in the transformative power of running, and I believe that everyone can run. I think my other friends do as well. I'm not sure, however, that we did such a great job of conveying this idea last night.

Cries of "That's ridiculous!" and "Whaaaaat?" and "I'm not even going to listen to that!" emanated from our table when the "non-runner" indicated that running a 10k was absolutely a frightening proposition for her. We may have cornered her a bit, may have refused to accept her lack of belief in her ability. We may have said so loudly and brashly. We may have gotten in her face a little bit. Maybe. (She can handle it, thankfully, and may have been laughing at us.)

When the aforementioned hotbox subsided, conversation then drifted to the moment when each of us realized we actually could run and that doing so was a good idea. And what I realized is that although the moment is typically small in scope--a conversation, an offhand comment, or merely admiration for someone--its presence is lasting, its power immense. Because then we somehow get the idea that we're able, the notion that we can do it too. This realization is not limited to running, obviously, but pertains to anything we thought out of reach, anything we thought we just couldn't do. Until we decide we can.

I suppose we could blame our outburst on the vodka tonics, or Makers Mark martinis, or Yuengling. At that moment all of these drinks were fighting for a chance to voice their vehement opinions, their opposition to the idea that our friend is not a runner. I think the real reason for our outburst, however, is that we want her to know the magic of running, know that we believe in her, and know that she can.

Does she know it?

I know we weren't subtle, so I hope so.


Caroline said...

I tried posting this last night...not sure why it didn't work.
I never would have run my first 10k last year if you hadn't invited me to run with you Kelley. While I still don't consider myself a "runner" that race showed me that I like to feel fit and strong. I am a happier person and a better wife and mother when I am exercising! Your friend can totally do it!

Katie G. said...

I feel sure she knows it, and how great that y'all told her! Am enjoying the hell out of your blog, by the way. Keep 'em coming!

Kelley said...

Thanks ladies! Love reading your comments!

joy said...

I was moved by all the postings so far..but this one really hit home. I am not the non-runner from the table last night - I actually act/think like I can run, and have run, although not quickly by any stretch of the definition. However, on occaission I seem to momentarily loose my mojo and have a really crappy run, or maybe even a stretch of runs, but I give it another try the next day (believing inthe possibliity that I CAN do this) I usually go over my busted run with kelley post mortem and kelley always has some way to keep me going. I also share my running highs with her and she is the best at giving me high fives via text..Thanks for letting me share and thanks for sharing in this blog. This blog is awesome and so are you Kel - I love you!

Laura C. said...

wait a minute...you posted this at 5:18 am...you are as crazy as Jay.

tommyday said...

Did you steal the term "post mortem" from your medical cousin? I love that one! It seems to me that strange brew of pride, accomplishment, "just diditness", and the glow of potential, of what could be, are never stronger than in the minutes and days AFTER an event (which could be as simple as a new "long" in training). This is where I find the gold. It's like motivational currency that I usually manage to burn through right AFTER I sign up for "the next big thing." At which point I'm left wondering "What in the hell did I get myself into?" and so it begins again.