Pushing Beyond Your Limits
Friday, August 13, 2010
Last night my daughter and I decided to get started on C25K. The Komen Race for the Cure 5k is coming up in October and I want to be prepared. I would like to run it so I'm going to give this a shot.
We left to go to the high school track at around 9:00 last night. It was still crazy hot and humid outside, but this is August in Houston so there is never a cool evening. Probably not the best time to start this, but I'm a wee bit insane. Because the school is in the neighborhood, there were no lights on the track. That was totally cool with me because I didn't want an audience to my slow death.
We get our iPods to start the podcast at the same time and started the warm up walk at the car. I realized that we had failed to stretch, so we spent most of the warm up time stretching instead of walking. This will be fixed when we do day 2 tomorrow. The first run was easy. Each consecutive run was harder and harder to manage. I can definitely say that I didn't "continue with a brisk walk" in between runs. I walked, but it was probably nowhere near "brisk". My daughter was great and kept the snails pace with me without really complaining.
On the 3rd to the last run, I was ready to quit. I was still jogging, but probably not much faster than I was walking. I contemplated quitting and made myself a deal. I could quit IF I logged in to SP this morning and told everyone of my failure. That sounded like a fair deal to me! Needless to say, I wasn't going to give in to that deal. I see so many people accomplish so many amazing things that I was determined NOT to come here and tell you all that I failed to finish day 1. I pushed through the pain. It didn't go away. Hell, it didn't even diminish, but I kept going.
When we got to the walk before the very last run, my daughter did finally say something about not being breathless at all (as I'm wheezing and coughing and red as hell). I laughed and just motioned for her to run ahead of me when the time came. With her gone, I again thought, "I could just start walking and nobody would know. She's too far ahead to notice." Nope. It was the LAST run. Why would I put myself through everything I had just been through to quit at the last possible second? So I kept going.
Then I heard the best words ever. Stop! Time for the 5 minute cool down walk. Heaven. Because I was going to be walking, I decided to move to the outside of the track to make way for the runners (all guys). Unfortunately, I did that right as a runner was coming up behind me and we almost collided. I apologized and moved out of his way as quickly as possible. Here is where everything changed.
The runner kept going and then when he was about 20 feet ahead of me, he started running in place. He took out his ear buds and started talking to me. He motioned for me to come there, so I took out my ear buds to hear what this man had to say. He asked me to run with him. I laughed (as much as one can when they can barely breathe) and told him I actually had just finished and was doing my cool down. He was persistent. "Come on, I'm going slow because I've got a long way to go tonight. Join me just for a little bit. YOU CAN DO IT." So I did.
There was nobody on my iPod telling me to run. Just a nice man out on the track that wanted to push me just a *little bit* further. My daughter had stopped to see what was going on (we are very protective of each other). When she heard the exchange, she came back to us and ran with us. I only ran around to the exit of the track, but I ran more than I had to. I thanked him for the company and told him I was done for good this time. We finished up the cool down and went to stretch and then drive home.
When we got in the car, my daughter commented about how awesome the whole thing was. She said that so many people would have taken that guys' insistence that I join him the wrong way. As if he was saying "RUN Fat Boy (Girl) RUN!". I explained to her that my involvement on Spark has changed the way I view the rest of the world. Yes, there are people that are hateful and will say stupid things, but there are also a lot MORE genuine people out there that just want to see you succeed. He was definitely in the later camp. He knew that he could inspire me to give a little bit more, so he pushed me even when I tried to say no. I will probably go to the track at the same time every night in hopes of seeing him. We can all use a little push every once in a while.
So, thank you Mr. Track Stranger. Your actions last night pushed me beyond my limits and for that I'm extremely grateful. I can't wait for the day where I can run alongside you for the duration of your run. I will make you proud, even if you don't know who I am.