Like any summer for a young black woman searching for summer lust hidden in corners of Central Park, your summer never goes as planned. I had high hopes of running 13 miles along the Hudson River every day at 6am. I dreamed of keeping up with the seasoned runners that run the New York Marathon as easy as they make their cup of black coffee in the morning, as they run to catch the 8:05 train to Midtown. I was going to be THAT sexy girl with THAT sexy dress and advising people on all of my success. The truth is that I am NOT that girl. The truth is that there are 6 weeks until my half-marathon and I am far away from being prepared. My legs are still thick as ever and when I run long distances my inner thighs still chafe, causing me to have rashes and lots of inner thigh sweat. Needless to say, I have not reached my goal of wearing a size 6 dress effortlessly and have not even come close to running 10 miles without thinking I might roll over and die.
We all think that taking the first initial step to commit to something that you have never done before will be easy. That all you have to tell your brain is “I think I can. I think I can.” That your body will automatically adjust to the physical and emotional hardship and you will smile because your body is not sore at all, even though it just endured physical strain it has never experienced before. This is exactly what I was thinking when I first started training. I thought all I had to do was pick up my “Non-Runners Guide to Marathon Training“, buy a new pair of shoes, visit the Marshall’s women’s sports clothing section, tell all of my friends that I am running a half marathon, start a blog, and yell “Yay I did it. Go me.” Since I committed myself in April to take on this lofty task, I now understand what it means to have the will power to carry out a project in its entirety and understand that failure comes with risks.
I have failed in my commitment. I have failed at keeping up a weekly blog ( it has become more like a monthly blog). I have failed to train. These next few weeks I am taking all of my failures with this entire process and turning it into something positive and achievable. I will run 13 miles even if it kills me because I have to. I told you I would. It wouldn’t be right for me to quit because I would have failed myself.
During my month of not training, I was busy processing my life (my typical excuse when I am in a state of funk). I was working in the Highlights Factory for the 2012 London Olympics. I was a part of the production team where I was able to work with the production manager to handle all of the logistics for a crew of 200 or more. I have never been a part of a team so large, especially a team that was working to produce online content for the most watched event on TV and online. I was a part of that team and it was both daunting and inspiring. I learned that although I may not have the answers somebody else will…that teamwork and encouragement are essential when you are working on an project that has never been done before. I have never run a half marathon. Just because I haven’t, doesn’t mean that I can’t or that somebody I know has done it or will do it again in the future. The Olympics taught me to go for the unimaginable. Think of Gabby Douglas and her amazing win for the Best All-Around in Women’s Gymnastics to Clarissa Shields taking a gold for the USA in Women’s Boxing. These are remarkable women who at a young age said “I wish I could Fly.” All of their critics said,”No you can’t, you don’t have wings.”
Their responses were “I say I have Wings.” They flew. They imagined the impossible.
I have to imagine the impossible. Maybe then I will fly.
Below is my video that I dedicate to the Women in the Olympics who have told me that it is possible to fly: