intensely trivial


running shoes
Back in January, I posted a list of New Year’s resolutions, and one of them was this: “Get into a lasting exercise regimen.” It took reading a book, The Complete Book of Running for Women, by Claire Kowalchik, and a couple more months of thinking about it. In March, I started running again. I’ve run before, but back then I was kind of a wuss about it. This time around, I’m a stronger person. Over the last few months, I’ve made myself run in 30-degree temperatures, and on days when the high got to 100 degrees. I’ve run in the rain, and I’ve run in 90-percent humidity. For a month or two, I ran a route that went up two of the more challenging hills in Manhattan. I’ve run six miles at a time, a personal distance record for me. I’m not that great of a runner; I just decided to push myself and see what would happen.
Here was the big surprise at the beginning: I could do it. I was more in shape when I started than I thought I was. Being a full-time mom and just taking care of the kids and the house had kept me healthier than I realized. It probably helped that right around then I finally started making good choices again about the quantity of food I was eating. I lost a few pounds and felt immeasurably better about my body.
Physically, running doesn’t feel easy when I’m doing it. It’s almost always some kind of a challenge to go outside or downstairs to the treadmill (heaven forbid!) and run a few miles. The most revolutionary thing to me is that I, who have always thought of myself as a klutz and have been told that I’m weak, am a runner. I’ve never been a good athlete. Sports make me feel dorky and self-conscious.
Which is why I am kind of nervous about this race I’m signed up for on Saturday morning. I’m running the Sabetha Firecracker 5K. It’s in my hometown. Eight other members of my family will be running (or walking) in the race, and countless people from my past will be there, competing against me (all in good fun, I’m sure) or watching the race. Am I going to suck? After all my excitement that I’ve shared with my family and friends, am I going to show myself a fraud?
Rationally, I shouldn’t be nervous. I’ve been running fast enough, and I can run 3.1 miles very easily. But I think my identity is changing, growing to accommodate another part of me, and the growing pains, at 35 years old, are still painful.
So as not to leave you in this introspective morass I’ve dragged you into, let me conclude this way: I guess, even if I do make some dumb mistake and get a horrible time, the bigger picture is that I have become a runner, and I really do like it. I’m happier with my body right now than I’ve been for a long time. On the days when I don’t run, I miss the feeling of having pushed my body and my mind. It will be OK, no matter what happens. So if you think of me on Saturday morning, would you say a prayer for me — not that I’ll win, although I wouldn’t mind getting a decent time, but that I will treat myself with the same grace God shows to me.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * Shelley says:

    Run like the wind, Rachel! Eager to hear how you feel after your accomplishment!

    Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  2. * Myra says:

    Bring it on, sista! Just kidding. 🙂 We’ll have fun. I might die, but we’ll have fun.

    Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  3. * Erika says:

    Way to go Rachel! Will you be coming to Bern in the evening for dinner/fireworks?? If so, I think I’m going so I’ll see you there. Actually, I’m leaving after games and dinner, but I’ll be there for those.

    Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  4. You are certainly going to be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow!!

    Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  5. * clbeyer says:

    Hey, I saw the results and how you rocked yesterday. Awesome!

    Posted 8 years, 10 months ago
  6. * Rick says:

    Definitely did not suck. Thanks for joining us.

    Posted 8 years, 9 months ago
  7. * manhattandoula says:

    Thanks, Rick, for organizing it. Well done! It was really fun. 🙂

    Posted 8 years, 9 months ago

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