During my walk around Lake Hollywood today, my brain wandered, too – as I was double-lapped by avid runners and I moved past shufflers – it struck me there will always be people faster than you and slower than you; the trick is to do the best that you can at any minute. You can’t be anyone but yourself and you can’t be better than your best. Some days are going to be easier than others but the important thing is to put on a good show and have no regrets. Even the Bolts and the Phelps have bad days and their records broken. To compare yourself to someone else is futile and no fun – it will either make you smug and superior or sad and inferior.
This whole thing with my knee/running has taught me humility, to be gentle with myself, look for joy in the small things, have fun in the moment, and be grateful for any, and all, accomplishments. Today I wandered around Lake Hollywood with a goal of doing 11 miles at a fast walk – that was a dream. It started well, good cloud coverage, high 70’s, gentle breeze, so I didn’t bother with sun block or my hat, but as the minutes ticked by, the clouds dissipated, the breeze visited another part of the city and the heat index climbed until it was low 90’s and high humidity. The ducks, turtles and squirrels were wise enough to be somewhere else.
My fast walk became more of a meandering amble, while others were running and biking and putting up a grand show, tourists crawled along, stopping frequently to take photos, and an older couple moved slowly but with purpose. I kept going, sipping water, dripping sweat, breathing hard, aware of the fact that if I stopped sweating that I was ripe for heat exhaustion and collapse, so I managed 9 miles in just over 2 and a half hours, then retreated to my air-conditioned car. Once home, I re-hydrated, ate, stretched, then had a nap! Now, my skin is turning a lovely shade of red!
Originally, I was annoyed at being stuck at the back of my running class, but I have met some amazing people, who are doing their best and putting in more effort than the ones who are bounding along at the front. Those friends at the back are incredible – one has never been fit/athletic and is a trifle heavier than she would like to be and she has the goal of doing the TinkerBell run at Disneyland early next year, another was a runner, but severe illness forced her to focus her energy on staying alive/healthy, now she is back walking with the goal of running/doing a marathon in the future, and another was training to climb Mount Whitney when she fractured a bone and had to use crutches just to walk; she has started to run again and will do the climb next year. These three ladies are examples of indomitable spirit, of keeping the faith in themselves, living a day at a time, putting in the work, while keeping their heart aimed at their dreams.
@ErikaHallRYC Our teacher is a perfect example of these attributes and brings out the best in all of us – always a runner with the mind of a yogi and the heart of a teddybear – she has finally decided to do a race and has chosen the San Francisco marathon in October, which, I know, she will fly around and enjoy every second of her accomplishment. (If you want more info about the classes she teaches, check out her tweets or Facebook page Erika Hall-RYC. So ironic, me, who didn’t run, signed up to do a marathon, while she, a long-time runner, had never signed up for a race until now! Now, we have the same goal – finish the damn thing!
I feel so grateful to be surrounded by such brilliant inspiration. Recently, Elizabeth, a dear friend, had a bad stroke in May – she was in ICU, in a medically induced coma, for a week, then acute rehab for boot-camp-intensity therapy – she had little practical movement on the right side of her body and was unable to walk or write or remember how to use the computer. She is now home; thanks to all her hard work, faith and patience, she can walk around the house without a cane, outdoors, with a cane, slowly, for 20 minutes, she can write, and has taught herself to use the computer. Last week, she made me a lovely, healthy lunch and I helped her enroll in an on-line Spanish language course at babbel.com; she is a great lady, who refuses to allow circumstances to dictate her destiny.
I have signed up for the Lake Tahoe Emerald Bay half-marathon at the end of September – I plan on walking it – I am very good at wandering around lakes under the shadow of trees. I will probably take my little Guess backpack, so I can take water, munchies, my camera, notebook/pen – one never knows when inspiration will strike – and lip gloss – I do hate having dry lips! It is a three-day event – while all the ultra runners/triathletes/marathoners are being hard-core for three days, I am going to have fun, Yvonne-style…after my race – (Ooooh! A race – the last time I did that was in High School at Sports Day) – I’ve signed up for a photography workshop/tour, plan on hitting the spa for a foot massage and such, maybe some gambling, and lots of relaxing! Lake Tahoe sits high in the mountains, 6,229 feet above sea level and straddles California and Nevada; South Lake Tahoe is a bustling hub of casinos, restaurants, and hotels, with great skiing in winter and hiking/camping/water sports enjoyed the rest of the year, with a thriving night life, and lovely, friendly people. I was there about 10 years ago for a wedding and found it just delightful.
For those interested in Tahoe……http://tahoesouth.com/about
Thank you – to all ….to those, who have read this far – to the people, who inspire me on a daily basis, and to everyone, who has loved, trusted and believed in me on this journey called life….I love you….go out there, have fun, be yourself…and never let the bastards get you down…
Question: Do you always try to be perfect? Does it make you happy? Would you be more at peace just accepting yourself for you and stop comparing yourselves to others?