Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Part of the Team


Do you remember that running program I was telling you about? The one that promised I'd be running 5K in 9 weeks? I invited you to join me. I said something like:

So how about it? Are you going to let me run alone? Just think: in 9 weeks' time we could both be running continually for 5K. We will both be able to say, "I'm a runner!" We'll both have conquered the challenge. Won't that feel good? 

On Sunday it will be 9 weeks since Christmas Day. It will also be 9 weeks since I started running. So…

Can I run a continuous 5 K?
Am I a runner?
And do I feel good?

I am tempted to whisper the answer to the first question… no. It would have been nice to have said yes. I could have boasted a bit and encouraged everyone to get out there and start running. But I have to be honest. No, I can’t run a continuous 5K.

When I first realised I wasn’t going to achieve this goal, I was a bit discouraged. Progress was slower than I anticipated. Why can’t I run like 8 year old Gemma-Rose? She runs 5K every morning… easily. One morning I ran/walked as far as I could, then collapsed on the grass exhausted. As Gemma-Rose sailed by, I asked if she was ready to go home.

“I want to do two more laps,” she shouted back. “I want to do 10 altogether (5K).”

I watched her run another lap and then rather foolishly, I offered to run the last lap with her. All the way round, I wondered if I’d make it back to our starting point. I did, but only just. I staggered home with Gemma-Rose bouncing along beside me, chattering away: “One day wouldn’t you like to come down to the fields and run as many laps as you want without anyone saying it’s time to go home?” she asked.

“I couldn’t have run one step further than I did today,” I admitted, wondering where she got all her energy from.

Her energy? She is young and I am… not so young. And so I have become realistic. And I have accepted the fact it is going to take me longer than average to reach my running goal.

Am I a runner, despite not completing the program? I think I can say yes! I am running a whole lot further than I am walking. I run practically the whole of the session. I just need to stop every now and then for a breather. Yes, I am a runner.

And do I feel good? Oh yes! That is the best part.

For nine weeks I have been strolling down to the park at the end of the road with my water bottle in my hand and my girls by my side. I have been part of The Team.

Some mornings it has still been dark when we’ve left home and we’ve watched the sun rise over the gum trees. Other mornings we’ve run in and out of the ground mist hovering over the fields. We’ve been caught in the rain a few times. We’ve seen kangaroos and wallabies and watched them bound away into the bush as we've approached. We’ve heard birds calling. The only person we’ve seen out so early is the lady who walks her dog. She must think we’re a bit strange…all these girls running at a time when most children are getting ready to go to school.

We used to run around the playing fields but a couple of weeks ago, after torrential rain, the grass became too boggy to run on. We discovered a network of bush tracks next to the fields and we have been running along these instead. And a whole new delightful running world has opened up.

We dump our water bottles on a picnic table and then we all head along the track.  We disappear under the trees… round the bend and down through the loose stones, back up the ‘pyramid’ (a rocky hill),  around the ‘ocean’ (a huge puddle), along the flat, across the sand, up another steep hill and then out into the open, along the ‘straight’… the picnic table is in sight … past the table, around the trees and back… and we have completed one loop. Now for another…

After about 35-40 minutes we are ready to go home.

“How many laps did you run today?”

“Wow! You did well!”

“I’m starving.”

“I’m tired.”

Yes, we are all exhausted, ready for a shower and some breakfast.

And I feel good!

I’ve done my exercise for the day, I’ve experienced the unique beauty of the bush at sunrise and I am now returning home with my girls.

Will I be able to run 5K one day? I think so. But being able to run a certain distance no longer seems so important. That’s not the best bit.

The best bit is getting up early and starting each day with the girls. I love working hard together, sharing our progress, encouraging each other, being part of a team.

We stumble up to the back door and kick off our shoes. As I slide open the door, I say, “Well done, Team!” and the girls grin back at me.

Yes, I'm a runner. I'm part of The Team. And that feels so good!

12 comments:

  1. Oh, where is that 'like' button!? Nice post, Sue!

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  2. Theresa,

    Thank you! It's lovely of you to stop and say hello.

    God bless!

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  3. Hi,

    You've been nominated for an Award on my Blog.

    God bless.

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    1. Victor,

      Your imagination and sense of humour amazes me. I am delighted to accept your unique award. Thank you for this great honour.

      God bless!

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  4. Great post. I wish I liked running but I don't. It is good to be part of a team!

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    1. Colleen,

      I guess running isn't for everyone but exercising is always more fun when you have someone to do it with. It's good to be part of a team that cheers you on.

      Thank you for reading my story!

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  5. Ah, youth is wasted on the young. And us ... not so young folks have to do the best we can. Sounds like you are doing great, Sue! You should be proud of what you have accomplished.

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    1. Pam,

      It's a pity we don't appreciate our health and fitness when we are young. We tend to take it for granted. Then one day... we realise it doesn't come so easy any more. I discovered what I thought I was capable of didn't quite match up to what I could actually do. But I think I will get there. I just need to take more time and go at my own pace. This has been a learning experience for me!

      Thank you for stopping by!

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  6. Good for you! I love that you've found a unique way to spend time with your girls. That is so precious!

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    1. Grace,

      I remember you encouraging me along when I first started running. I appreciate you coming back and sharing my progress.

      You are quite right: the time spent with the girls is so precious. Running on my own wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable. I love watching all the girls disappearing in and out of the trees as they run along the tracks. I am going to have some wonderful memories of this summer.

      God bless you!

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  7. Sue, you are doing awesome!!! Progress is what to focus on. I have no doubt that you will be running a continuous 5k very soon.

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    1. Stephanie,

      Thank you for your encouragement! Yes, progress! I can see I have come a long way in just over 2 months. As long as I keep going, I should make it. On Sunday I ran in the pouring rain, and this morning there was a very strong cold wind blowing. It didn't stop me getting the girls up and all of us heading to the park. We must be getting to the addictive stage!

      Delete

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