All the runners are waiting at the start line. We’re all lined up in our respective pace intervals. My headphones are in as I try to get into the zone. We sneak in one last selfie… it’s of me, my sister, and my cousin. I grab a squeeze of my best friend and tell her I’ll catch up to her later. It’s just another race closer to reaching my goal of a half marathon. The countdown begins… 10 seconds to go… 5 seconds… 4… 3… 2… *bang* the sound of the start gun. I watch as the runners in front of me explode forward. It’s then when I open my eyes. I’m not lined up at the start line. Instead I’m walking down the street of my neighborhood wishing I’m there. I’m not with my sister or cousin. I’m not with my bestie. They’re all there today and I’m not. I’m walking with my daughter on a warm Saturday morning just trying to do something to get by. It feels good to breathe in the air. This is my new normal.
It wasn’t easy taking off the past 3 weeks. When your brain is programmed to get yourself in gear you constantly have a little ticking alarm in your heading saying “Hey Gin, it’s time to sneak that workout in today.” When you’re programmed to do that and you don’t get it done a lot of guilt sets in. That guilt happens to me even when I know I’m doing what is right for my body. It needs time to rest but it doesn’t make it any easier. I’ve been sidelined before due to injury. I’m an athlete these things tend to happen. Shockingly, though, this one has been harder to swallow. I think it’s because I know this one was tougher to achieve. It’s been building for years with a lot of distractions along the way. I finally felt like I’ve been able to move past what was holding me back and now I just have to sit back and watch everyone else move forward… people who I’ve encouraged to run and I just want to be there will them as they do it.
I’m always the optimist. I believe when things happen (even if they are things that suck) there has to be a way to turn it into something good. So here goes… I’m a runner, but I’m not JUST a runner. I’m a kickass wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend. I’m an advocate for others. I’m a writer. I’m a jokester. I’m a wine-drinking, hugs-to-much, cries-too-often, laughs-a-hell-of-a-lot woman. Sometimes I’m even a sarcastic bitch. Most importantly, I’m an example to others that it’s okay to not be perfect. I’m an example that you try your best to do what your body allows you to. I want you all to read this and remember it. Repeat it to yourself. YOU CAN AND YOU WILL. Apply that in your daily life whenever you doubt yourself. That’s how I get by day by day. I’ll let you in on a little secret today. I didn’t run a 10k but I walked almost 4 miles. Nothing will stop me from moving forward even if it’s just step by step.