Welcome to ChAos in MOtiOn
“You’re a glutton for punishment.” That was a lady’s response when I mentioned that I was exhausted from an 18 mile run that morning. This response, along with “You are crazy!”, “Are you crazy?” and “I don’t run unless someone is chasing me!” are all common in regards to me mentioning miles or running. In the past, the comments bothered me, but now I just consider them a backhanded compliment. You see, I used to be one of those people.
I have always been athletic. I was disciplined in my youth, skating six days a week, sometimes twice a day. My fellow rink rats and I would have 2 hours of practice in before our classmates were awake. In my twenties I exercised and did gym workouts, pilates classes and aerobics. But run? No way. Running “the mile” for the Presidential Fitness Test in school was anticipated as much as a colonoscopy. Running was punishment for not listening in basketball. Running was, well, for Runners.
In my mind, the line is blurred on how I started to run. I know it was January of 2008. I know that in May 2007, all three of my older brothers and my sister-in-law ran the half marathon in Fargo. I know I spit pop out my nose when the middle of my three brothers told me in March of that previous year that he was going to run the half marathon in May, saying, “You realize that is running, right? 13.1 miles of running?” Where the memory becomes fuzzy is whether my 3 older brothers utilized their sibling status and pressured me to participate or face the ridicule of not trying, or whether I was driven by the typical youngest child mentality of “Anything you can do, I can do too!” The real instigation shall forever be muddled, but regardless of the push, I signed up in January 2008 for a 13.1 mile race in May, not having ran a mile in about 10 years.
At this point in my life, I was 33, I had just had my second baby via c-section 6 months earlier, my husband was in his second, busiest year of Residency and I had a very busy, inquisitive, tornadic 3.5 year old son. I was, and still am, the typical American overextended, overtired, overworked, over-everything stay-at-home Mom. What was one more commitment, right?
I’ll spare all the details of that training. It started very slow, but it started. The longest run I ever did prior to that half marathon was somewhere around 8 miles. When I passed mile marker 9 at the race, shortly after I learned, thanks to Scheels that a giraffe can lick its own eyeballs, I thought, “9 miles!! I have never ran 9 miles before!!” Then came the next few miles and eventually I ran into the (in my mind thundering) Fargodome, seeing myself on the Gigantron finishing. It was nothing amazing by pace or finish times, but it was beyond glorious in my mind and heart. The high of that finish, the elation from the completion of something that never seemed possible lasted at least a couple weeks. The satisfaction of proving wrong that voice in my head that said, “You can’t do this” was more satisfying than seeing a balding ex-boyfriend.
Seven half-marathons, some 10ks, a handful of 5ks and an in progress marathon training schedule later, I get it. I get why people run. I guess I am, well, a runner. Join me in my journey, my Chaos In Motion. Let me reveal to you what running means to me. It is running (well, yeah!) but so much more than that. It is therapy, prayer in movement, it is decompression and coping, it is my muse. Join me in these observations of health, life, running, parenting and whatever else creeps in from the recesses during those miles, when my feet fall into a cadence and allow my mind to open and flood with ideas. Welcome to Chaos in Motion.