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April 16, 2013

Go Instead...with Inner Strength...Young Grasshopper....

Yesterday, about 9am, I was having some serious anxiety.  I was jealous and envious and I'm sure if I had of looked in the mirror, my face would have been as green as grass.  I just couldn't take it anymore...or could I?  I was constantly refreshing FaceBook...looking...watching...waiting...my news feed was a buzz with all things Boston Marathon.

And, me?  I sat in my living room and wanted to cry.  Real tears.

I was so overcome with feelings of inadequacy (cue the Celias theme music) and anger and self-loathing.

I WANTED TO BE THERE.  

Joining the festivities.  Brushing elbows with Kenyans.  Getting ready for the run of my life. 

But, hell, I can't even find the time to get a measly 5k worked into my week.

So, at approximately 2:30, after watching the finishes and pictures and joy of my friends finishing the marathon, I decided that I needed a break from Facebook.

Like, a permanent break.

Because, really, it was FACEBOOK that was inciting this jealousy.

Right?

All this time I would have been happy and content if I just hadn't ever looked at FACEBOOK.

Right?

I deleted my iPhone Facebook app and at approximately 3pm I decided to look at my news feed via iPad one more time...one last goodbye.

And there it was....the first status update in my news feed was from someone I haven't seen since high school..."two explosions Boston Marathon."

I leapt to my feet and immediately texted Brenna's godparents.  They were there...he had just finished running...one of the many locals I knew...one of the many I had been jealous of.  There was alot of chaos.  People trying to get in touch with others...Facebook was a buzz with "has anyone heard from so and so?"  It was panic and terror on this end...and from the texts I was receiving it was confusion and fear on their end.  Fast forward - we all know now what transpired.  Thankfully all of our local athletes are now safe and sound in their own beds in Georgia.

But, as for me.  This whole situation...everything from start to finish...watching the camaraderie of the running community...it has inspired me.  All of those people I was jealous of on Monday morning...they have now all become my inspiration.

I went to the Track tonight.  We were having a welcome home party for our local athletes....a way to boost their spirits and remind them that amidst the despair, they accomplished something remarkable.  I got there a bit early.  I just wanted...needed...to run one quiet mile.  A wise man was there...an almost gray-haired, IronMan tattoo sporting, wise man....I told him the story of my jealousy...how I tried to blame Facebook for it...how ironic it was that if I had deleted my account it probably would have been hours before I realized anything had happened (we live in cable television's no-man's land....).  That wise man with the crooked hat and the fresh tattoo said "when I realize something is right for me I'm always jealous to see other people doing it.  If I didn't like doing it, if I didn't care about it, I wouldn't care if anyone else was doing it either.  Maybe you felt that way because it's really what you are supposed to be doing."

Why hadn't I ever thought about that?  Why would I care how accomplished all of these people were, if running wasn't right for me?  It's all so clear now.

The best time of my athletic life have been the years I spent as the Grasshopper.  Running was never about losing weight or looking good naked.  It was about the thrill of doing things that I never thought were possible.  It was that moment when I felt like I couldn't run...one...more...inch...but I would dig deep and find that there was a whole other person inside of me that I never knew existed.  It was that motivation and drive that kept me coming has brought me back.



" If that [failure] is our destiny, you cannot change it. But do not go with fear, Grasshopper; fear is eternal darkness. Go instead with inner strength, for it is like a deep river into which all streams flow. It increases, always moving forward; and soon, there is nothing that can stand in it's way. " -- Master Po

3 comments:

Jamie said...

Amy,
Thanks for sharing your story. When I heard about the explosions my heart sank because I knew Grace, Marcus and Terri were there. I checked facebook just in time to see they were safe, along with the others from Middle GA. I wish I could have come tonight. I miss meeting at the track on Tuesday nights.

I am a runner because I like to improve and get
better race times. Theres that moment when you think you cant take another step and suddenly your mind tells your legs to move faster. Its just a sense of accomplishment, regardless of the distance.
Yesterday was scary and sad for so many, but the human spirit will always persevere.

jeff said...

well said, grasshopper. glad you're 'back'.

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