Abraham, Rachel, Soren and Liam. Our life together in Smalltown, Idaho.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I know I can! I know I can!

(I've been waiting for pictures, but they're slow in coming, so I'll post this now and pictures later.)

Way back in June my sister-in-law Karen blogged about how she and my brother Seth had signed up to run a 5K in August. They'd done something similar last summer; it's how they motivate themselves to keep in shape. In that post she wrote, "We've already got my sister, Annie on board to run with us and I thought it would be fun to invite all my devoted blog readers to join us too!" And I, being a devotee of Karen's blog, as well as a (former) devotee of long-distance running, decided to jump on the bandwagon and sign up for the Ogden Family Fun Run. I started training that very week. Karen's sister Annie and my sister's husband Marty also signed up for the race.

Training wasn't easy. First of all, I was in terrible shape. At first I could barely run a lap around the high school track, so I started out by running a lap, walking a lap, running a lap, walking a lap. Secondly, I could think of a million reasons why right now was now a good time to get back into running: I hadn't slept longer than a three hour stretch in five months, the physical demands of mothering left me exhausted at the end of each day, I'd rather spend my precious spare moments pursuing something more intellectual.

One day while I lay curled up in a patch of tall weeds in an empty lot in our neighborhood, wondering how anyone ever survives motherhood, I decided I was going to quit training. It was just one extra stress that I didn't need. And then the thought came to me: If people only accomplished their goals when it was easy to do so, this world would be a pretty crappy place. Training for this race was going to be hard, yes, but I am capable of doing hard things. So I returned home to my frazzled husband and screaming children, fed the kids, bathed them, put them to bed, and went for a run.

I tried to run three times a week, but there were some weeks when I'd only go out once. There were others when I didn't make it out at all. I just kept reminding myself that, not only was I capable of doing this, I had invested fifteen whole dollars in the race registration fee, so I darned well be ready to run the dumb race at the end of August.

And, lo and behold, August 29, 2009, Karen, Seth, Annie, Marty, and I ran and completed the Ogden Family Fun Run. My goal was to run the whole way, without any walking, which I did, despite the insane hilliness of the run. It took me 32 1/2 minutes, which was worse than the worst time I ever clocked during my high school cross-country days, but let me tell you: it was a hard-fought 32 1/2 minutes, uphill both ways, and I'm proud of it. I decided to do something hard and, through hell and high water, I did it. Go me.


Natalya said...

Wonderrful post. I set a (different type of) goal this year too, and I am doing it, although barely. The insight about what the world would be like if everybody only did easy things helps me want to do better on mine.
Congratulations. You're inspiring. I'll try an exercise-type goal next year. :D

Kate said...

Awesome! That is so true. I always remember what that one lady (can't remember who, probably someone in a very high ranking position I should definitely know about) said about how she used to have a motto: "I can do hard things." Which I thought was pretty nice, and one I need for myself. And then she eventually changed it to, "I can do ALL things, through Christ." Good point!

Karen said...

I was so glad you decided to do this race with me. I thought training was hard and I don't have kids or sleep deficiency or a million other things I have to do. You've got some serious pluck. Nice job!

Steve & Margaret said...

I think you're amazing, and congratulations! You inspire me--
I've been using the I'm-too-tired-from-being-a-mom excuse, too. I just love your blog- you're so honest about what life is like. I hope you are showered by blessings for the encouragement you give to others. :)

heidi said...

Holy Crap! Your "worst time" is SUCH a good time!! With sleep you must be a very gifted runner.

I also like the inspired thought, "I can do hard things." But mostly, I just like you.

Although, the image of being curled up in the neighborhood weed patch and wanting to give up is comforting, too.

--XO, H.

Holly said...

Yay! Inspirational post, Rach. I need to stick with more things that are hard. You know the problem with doing hard things is, though? When you get them done, there is just another, harder thing to do next. Ain't that positive thinkin' fur ya?


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