Went to the gym tonight for the first time in two weeks. I’d only planned to walk the track as a warm up before doing weights. But when Bat Out of Hell came on my iPod, I just couldn’t help myself. I ran about a kilometre, sprinting the last 50 metres.
I had a little frustration to let out. I’d been training for my first half Blue Nose Marathon, doing it oh so carefully with a case of high hamstring tendonitis. (If there is an itis to be had, I will have it. I seem to be prone.)
About a month ago, I was up to 17 km and feeling pretty good. The hamstrings were talking to me but not getting worse…in fact, I think the problem was very gradually getting better.
Then blam – the old IT band tightened up and started rubbing against the knee. If you’ve had this problem, you’ll know the pain is quite severe. I headed back to physio, hoping we could calm it down enough that I could do the race.
I’d fundraised for Nourish Nova Scotia with my office team and it didn’t seem right to have asked people for money then not participate at all. So I made a sign and headed out to cheer on my team mates, friends, and thousands of strangers.
I’ll admit, I got a little choked up when I saw the finish line that I wouldn’t be crossing. When a goal oriented person is stopped dead in her tracks, well…it’s a tough pill to swallow, I can tell you.
But I rolled out my sign and hollered myself hoarse for everyone. And it was the best medicine in the world. It felt great to give that tiny bit of support to all the runners and walkers. It felt great to participate in a different way.
I really didn’t expect the response I got from the runners to my sign, though. Lots of people said thanks, that they liked the sign, gave thumbs up. Some people took pictures, and I’ve never seen so much Twitter action. One woman who’d just finished running up that bugger of a hill on North Street ran straight to me with tears in her eyes and squeezed my hand. I hugged her and told her to giv’er. And she did.
I chose my message for the masses because it seems to me that a lot of people run to change something about themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I wanted to remind everyone that they are already beautiful just as they are, that they are beautiful in their efforts and determination and sweat, that they are beautiful inside and out. Their beauty may evolve but it’s always there.
Whether they make the changes they set out to or not, I’m certain they all make this important change: now, because they tried, they nose they can do it.
And next year, so will I.