I love #TBT posts. It’s so interesting to look back on where we’ve been in life. Sometimes it’s a blur how long ago something happened, other times it’s a shock so much time has passed. Personally I like to be reminded of ways I’ve changed and ways I’ve stayed the same to evaluate my progression of goals. Posts talking about college humble me to the fact I’m still very new in my profession. Posts talking about being scared for a 5K remind me to be kind to others and not to complain constantly when I didn’t accomplish 26 versus 25 miles.
The above image is hands down one of my top 3 (if not #1) pictures from my racing career. The Eco Run 5 miler. My first ever race. I had NO IDEA what I was doing. I had NO IDEA 5m wasn’t the same as 5k or what any of it meant. Nothing will ever feel like that first race. The excitement, the fear, the uncertainty, the pride. The girl in the old t-shirt, Sketchers shoes and bib plastered to her chest would go on to complete 2 marathons, 5 50Ks, over 25 half marathons and countless other distances. She would wear the ambassador uniform for MARATHON BARS, Aquaphor, and Gore-Tex. She will “come back” from heart surgery, torn hamstrings, gallbladder removal, kidney stones and multiple struggles with depression, anxiety and PTSD.
It’s easy to see (I think) why this latest round of “character building struggles” is annoying to me. Easy to see why I don’t want to deal with it anymore. I’ve accomplished a lot, I’ve experienced a lot, and in the back of my head I’m still shouting “WHEN WILL IT END”. When is my time to simply live and be comfortable? When is it my time for things to just flow and everything is rainbows and kittens?
My boyfriend posted this image on FB a few weeks ago. It seemed really silly to me at the time. When I came out over surgery last week he held my hand and said “Babe. You’re a lion”. It was another silly moment at the time, but I keep thinking about it. Maybe he is right? Eh of course he is right!
Sure I could be a sloth. It’s relaxing and comfy. Staying in the trees, eating leaves, growing some algae or something. People would acknowledge me, and Kristen Bell would lose her shiz over me, but is it really what I want? Being a lion is amazing. People look forward to seeing you, people are mesmerized by you. Not just because of the sleekness of your body, or the glorious nature of your mane if you’re a male, but for what you represent. Lions respect all levels of life (according to Disney) lions have power, but don’t abuse it (still according to Disney). Lions have easy fun days down by the watering hole, and days where they have to hunt. Lions work together to survive.
I don’t want to be a sloth, I want to be a lion. I want to lean on those in my pack when I am weak and I want to step up when it’s my turn to be a leader. Just because we’re all in the desert doesn’t mean we’re on the same mission. Just because we look and act alike, doesn’t mean we’re on the same mission.
Working on my lion skills is a priority right now. Getting back on my feet to be a strong member of my pride and to find those who belong in it as well. I’ve done some really interesting things since I started running in 2007, and I’m not done yet. Who knows what’s next, but I know this isn’t the end.