Oct 10, 2007

I am not here to conquer the world.

I am here to conquer myself.

I have been getting a lot of comments and emails lately pertaining to my '08 racing schedule and school all pretty much asking the same thing... "are you crazy?"

Well my friends, the answer to that is a simple no.
You have to understand. I am seriously not out to do things just for the sake of doing them. I am out here to make a better life for myself and for others. I work hard so I can play hard and enjoy life. We only have one, and I have wasted enough of mine already.

A little recap on RunnerGirl - I started running because I had lost a lot of weight and wanted to do something amazing... to push my body now that I knew I could do it. So I started training for a marathon. Go big or go home - that is my motto! Maybe I should have stopped there, but I was hooked. So I kept running.

Sort of like Forrest Gump, just without the positive attitude.

The running partner I was with, coincidentally my boyfriend at the time, started to make me feel like I wasn't a good enough runner. Or maybe I let the dissolution of our relationship put those negative thoughts in my head. Either way I was reminded that I was not good enough out there in the field. I felt stuck. I had to run in order to spend any amount of time with this man... however I hated every minute out there because I felt smaller and not worthy. I felt fake. I was ashamed.

"If it makes you happy... then why are you so sad?"

I had sacrificed my happiness to be someone that this man would want to love. At the end of the day it would not matter. There was no love. Just habit, and a shell of a person left there all alone trying to figure out how it got to the point where she did not even recognize herself.

But I kept running. And dreaming. And I never stopped dreaming.

Because of that time in my life I used to have a real negative feelings towards running. I hated lacing up the shoes, but I still did it. I hated getting up early for those long slow distances, but I still did it. I hated everything about running, but I still did it.
I was convinced that I was NOT a runner because I couldn't break 10 minute miles. I was convinced that I was a joke to the fellow runners out there because I struggled and had to walk.

I loved a good punishment, so I never gave up. And in the end I was able to tear down those walls that I had built up and see the beauty in every step that I take.

"It is your run, embrace every step."

For those of you that have been with me since the start of this blog - you know that I have grown quite bit. I have grown into the woman I am today. Strong, Healthy. Happy.

So if I seem impassioned about the sports that I partake in... it is because I have been on the other side. The side where you dread life and every turn. That you dread waking up and facing another day of lies and let downs. I hated that person. I am glad that she is gone.

"I took off my pity-party dress and I don't dance like that no more."

I have since embraced running. It is a lifestyle. I am not a marathoner even though I have run them. I am not a half-marathoner even though I have run them too. I am a runner, but more importantly I am Jennifer. No titles necessary. For me, the joy is not in the title but the trip along the way to the finish line.

"I have the courage to start, and the strength to finish. "

Likewise, I have embraced triathlon. I enjoy challenging myself, true. However, again, I am not partaking in all the races that I do for the sake of medals, t-shirts, or even to say that I am a triathlete. I do these thing because of the happiness it brings to me. It is just another step in the journey. Another simple little step leading me down the path of life.

I guarantee you this. I am not chasing after Iron, nor gold, silver or bronze. I will not ever be an ironman. I don't want that. I am happy with sprints and oly's and one day I would like to do a Half IM, but no more. Now do not get me wrong, I respect each and every iron man out there (well except for the ones that steal other people's bike computers). But I personally am not that iron-seeking person. I am content with being carbon based.

I am human and that is beautiful. (I will try not to forget this)

I have this life to live and that is a blessing. (I will try not to waste it on frivolous things)

I am finally in a place where I no longer worry or feel bad or have self
doubt about who I am on the inside and that is reassuring. (I will try not to abuse it.)

I have gone from sloth to athlete and that is amazing. (I will try not to revert back to old ways)

But most of all I have learned that I can say no... and that is empowering.
(I will try to remember to do so when needed. )

So to answer your questions... no I am not crazy. Well if you ask Mike then the answer is probably yes. ;) I will succeed in this just like everyone else does. One day at a time.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me. ;) I can only guarantee you that it will keep on getting better. Oh, and soon I will have some actual running things to post up here.

})i({ Jennifer


Jess said...

I think you can accomplish the goals you've set before you!

Thomas said...

Your 2008 goals don't sound crazy to me. In fact, they're absolutely fine. And who knows, one day you might revise your statement about IMs, but in your own time, and according to your own wishes.

Good Luck!

TNTcoach Ken said...

Wow, there must have been a lot of emails! Shoot for the moon RunnerGirl, I’ve got your back.

Stuart said...

Good for you.

You'll only regret the things you didn't do, dispel the what if and embrace the what fun!

Doug said...

That is just groovy.

I'll wait for each 5k PR, then your IM PR, then your first bike race where you TT'd off the front and lapped the field.

David H. said...

I find that many people think that if you're doing more than two things at once then that's too much. We live in a society where people talk about how busy they are, but I really think we're living in a society where people just waste too much time. So no, you're not crazy. I'd say you're pretty damn smart by setting up your goals now. You'll just have to prove the doubters completely wrong.

Jenniferlyn said...

Thank you everyone! I really apprecite it!

I knew that I wasn't crazy.

I am a nerd. Not crazy. ;) That should be my new blog title.

Unknown said...

I found your blog through comments on Jess's blog and I'm glad I did. This was an AMAZING post.

Anonymous said...

Super spectacular fabulous post! You have done a great job expressing what makes us run, keeps us running. Very inspirational story and blog.