For the past two years since I left Auburn, I've felt slightly unproductive. Even with a job, I have struggled with finding a purpose because I don't have a goal. You work toward high school graduation, then toward college graduation, and then the funnel flips upside down. Everything is yours for the taking. And while I've taken some fun activities in the past two years, I still feel like I am just spinning my wheels with not much to show for it.
So I've selected a goal. A goal bigger than myself, doing good for someone other than myself. A goal that will take a lot of work and a very long, painful process to achieve it. Something to keep me focused, something to work toward, something that will feel like a true accomplishment. And the icing on the cake - I am helping others in the process.
I'm running a half-marathon.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I'm running the Music City Half Marathon in April, and I've joined Team in Training and we're rasing money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I've known a few people with these blood cancer diseases as well as plenty of people that have battled other forms of cancer and lost. My grandfather, for starters. Actually, I checked to see if the American Cancer Society had a team traning program but they don't in this state. So my next choice was LLS. So that's why this is bigger than just me. With each step and each dollar raised, I'm helping someone who has faced the horrible reality of a life-threatening disease.
I'm a few weeks into our training process and it's hard. I am a sleeper, not a runner. Getting up at 6 a.m. on Saturdays is not my style. But it's a good change.
Like I said, I am raising money with my team. My goal is nearly $2000. I would love it if my blog readers can help me meet this goal. I wouldn't even beg you guys to comment anymore. Click here to make your contribution online. And remember that none of this money is going in my pocket, it's going to the LLS. But each little dollar will feel like a vote of confidence that I can do this. Or, you can also just leave a comment to cast your vote of confidence and that will mean a lot, too. Oops, I said I wasn't going to ask for comments anymore. Starting NOW.
"Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it." I think that will be the case as training intensifies over the next few months (although I really look forward to crossing that finish line). There's a lot of potential lessons for a non-runner like me to learn along the way. Starting with why I'm really doing this. Obviously, raising money is a good incentive. But that's not what got me to the meeting in the first place. For me to say, "I think I'll train for then run 13.1 miles" is equally crazy as me saying "I think I'll sprout wings and fly." It's very out of my comfort zone. If I'm being honest, I'm very unconfident in myself and whether or not I can do this. I know what I'm good at, and running isn't on the short list. But I'm hopeful. Maybe I'll fall in love with running and this will change my life. Maybe not. We'll just take it (literally) one step at the time. And I'll share the lessons/insights with you as they come.
I'll also try not to whine about running in every post from now until April, but we'll see how that goes.
Monday, November 26, 2007