Tuesday, February 22, 2011

On Support

In January 2001, I was beginning a new job and finishing my last semester of graduate school.  I had a full load of classes, and had started work on my thesis.  I knew I had taken a lot on, but I just wanted to be done with school already and I figured I could juggle it all.  "I can do anything for four months," I told myself.

While I made it through those four months, I didn't do so unscathed. The emotional scars of that awful period of time in my life lasted for much of the last decade.  The hardest part of it was that I went through this difficult time in my life with little support from friends and family.  It wasn't their fault, though.  I seemed so strong, so everyone just assumed I was okay; and most of the time I acted like I was doing better than I actually was.

In January 2009, I found myself in a familiar situation.  I was working full-time and embarking upon a 4-month long journey to train for my first full marathon.  In March, my company announced a 10% paycut, and I also went through a painful breakup.  My training took up a lot of my time and all of my energy, and I had good days and bad days.  It was another tough four months, but there was one key difference between 2009 and 2001:  Despite how strong I was, this time I was older and wiser and knew how to lean on the people in my life.  Putting up walls is a thing of the past for me; when I am having a tough time, I tell someone about it.

One of the most important lessons that marathon training has taught me is that you'll never make it to 26.2 alone, even if you're the only one running it.  I tend to surround myself with friends who run because they "get me," but also find myself going on and on about my trials and tribulations of marathoning with anyone who will listen.  I'm sure my mom's ear feels like it's going to fall off when I go on and on for hour after hour about long runs, short runs, cross-training, shoes, attire, blisters, aches and pains, etc.  I know she couldn't care less about the pace, distance and elevation of a certain day's run, but she listens because she loves me. 

She may not be the one running, but she is as deserving of the medals as I am.

1 comment:

Jane said...

What a wonderful post. It speaks volumes about yourself, in terms of what you have learned as you have gone through difficult times in your life. It also shows an understanding of what it means to care for another person, as you describe your mother's love for you. Lovely...