This is going to be a really tough post for me to write because it’s about a time I am not fond of. In fact, I try to forget it as much as possible. I know – talk about literally running away. Okay, here I go..
It was my second season with X-Country in high school and..was I excited? I can’t remember. So maybe that’s a no? All I remember was letting my personal matters get the best of me, gaining weight, and being mentally out of tune with my running self. Oh, and I also remember getting a terrible hair dye job (love you, cousin!).
Life threw me lemons and instead of running pass them, I let them knock me down.
Throughout this one crappy season, Coach Pose could tell I was not mentally present. He’d talk to me and give me my space but no matter what he said/did to try to lift me out of my rut, I would not let an ounce of his care in. The wretched day came where I let him know I wasn’t going to run anymore. I remember it so clearly: my stomach was twisting and turning into some heavy, heavy knots and I hesitated a lot before I could utter any clear words out of my mouth. When I finally vomited the sad news, I almost started crying. He had such a horrible look of sadness and disappointment displayed across his face, and this guy can be caught smiling all of the time! He kept asking “Why? Why?! WHY?” and I would give empty responses. He wrote me a note (that still has me crying just thinking about it to this day) and gave it to me either towards the end or very last day of the season. It basically read
“..don’t let your worries overpower your love of running..running sets you free..let running (continue to) be your outlet..I understand your decision..I don’t like it..but I believe in you..”
Reading “..I believe in you..” never meant so much to me until that very moment because, I wondered, did I stop believing in myself? Yeah, I did. I gave up. I threw in the towel. I raised my white flag.
Or did I? From that time to a couple of years ago, I would come across my “Most Inspirational Athlete” plaque and quickly look away. What a joke. I would also come across that note he wrote me and threw it away only a few years ago. No need to keep a reminder of how I disappointed someone who believed in me. Well, life threw me lemons again (recently) and I pictured myself staring at a sign that read:
Are you going to make the same mistake twice?
I literally paused whatever I was doing at that moment, sat myself down, and thought about what made/will make me happy. The very next day, I laced up my old running shoes and headed out the door ready to conquer those lemons. I am back. Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote an e-mail to Coach Pose letting him know how sorry I was for disappointing him back in high school. I admitted to actually quitting something in my life, which was running and not easy to admit at all. The day after sending that message though, I realized I hadn’t quit.
quit – to give up; to admit defeat, usually permanently
I didn’t give up, I will never admit defeat, and I’m back hitting that pavement again. What I did was take a break. Because when life threw me lemons, I sliced it open and took a big taste. But palettes change so guess what, lemons? See you at the finish line!
Stay tuned for my next post: Nike Women’s Marathon SF 2012. The entire experience felt like I was back in high school again. 😀
keep on running!