A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles. - Christopher Reeve
For the last two Mondays, I have gotten my ass kicked. Not my butt or my tush or my hiney or my keister but my ASS. I attribute part of it to my lack of healthy eating for the last couple of weeks and to the 100+ degree weather I have been venturing out in but it is mostly a lack of conditioning on my part. I attempted to wog (at the very least) but no matter how hard I tried, my legs just wouldn't cooperate. I had to take several breaks to catch my breath and to nurse my cramping right calf (on which I over-compensate for my weak, formerly sprained ankle). And then, I was struck by the ugly truth - I am not superhuman. I have always liked to think of myself as unbreakable and invincible - kinda like a super hero. My last couple of outings have made me feel like a mere mortal. I see my weaknesses (of course they are hard to miss when they are shoved in my face) during my runs and they frustrate me. The heat has been overwhelming and when coupled with my apparent lack of stamina, it makes for an unpleasant run. Don't get me wrong, I would much rather run (or wog or walk) than not because even when it sucks, it is better than not running but the suckage is still there.
My mind wanders when I am out on the trail. I am pouring sweat, my heart races, my head is pounding, my mouth is dry, my calf is cramping, my shins are hurting and I want to cry. I begin to wonder why I am even bothering to do what I'm doing. What am I trying to prove? Why run when I can be indoors sitting on my sofa while reading a book? Why go through the pain and misery when I could be relaxing by the pool? And then I realize that I actually WANT to do this. I want to do something extraordinary. True, there have been plenty of times when I have considered putting my running shoes away for good but then I realize that I want to do something phenomenal for ME. I like the idea of being my own super hero and performing amazing feats of athleticism for myself. Like when I ran my very first continuous mile. Or when I completed my first half marathon or trained on my own for a full marathon and ran 19 miles as a training run. Those are things that I thought were reserved only for the gods and goddesses of running. I now know that these things aren't impossible because I have been able to do them. So does that make me a heroine? I like to think it does...even if it's not something I am every day. Heroes come in many forms. I bet you have one inside of you, too.