On Saturday, I ran into someone I rarely see. We were walking to our cars following a wedding ceremony. I asked if her husband is running the Country Music Half Marathon. He is. She asked me if I’m running it.
I gave her a brief rundown of last year’s foot surgery and February’s hernia surgery. I told her I was rebuilding my fitness base following foot surgery when the hernia surgery put a six-week halt to that. I’m starting over. This was her response:
“Well, people who are athletic like you know what training feels like. You know how to push through the discomfort. You’ll be back to where you were quickly. The rest of us aren’t used to the discomfort and we quit working out.”
I almost corrected her for calling me athletic, but I remained silent. Here’s the thing. Right now I’m out of shape and I don’t feel athletic. In fact, I haven’t felt athletic since I quit training for a full marathon due to the foot pain that necessitated the surgery.
I’ve thought about her comments a lot this week. I’ve thought about what it feels like to feel athletic.
- I felt athletic after completing my first half marathon. I wore the t-shirt constantly for weeks. I was horrified when hubs threw the cotton shirt into the wash with his jeans. Thankfully, Oxiclean took care of the denim hued stains.
- I felt athletic when hubs once asked, “So do you have a half marathon or a triathlon on Saturday?”
- I feel athletic when someone asks, “What are you training for?” the assumption being I’m training for something.
- I feel athletic when a race volunteer hangs a finisher’s medal around my neck.
- I feel athletic when hubs and I add a 5k to our vacation itinerary.
- I feel athletic when hubs and I go on vacation with the express purpose to hike.
- I feel athletic when I’m being body-marked before a triathlon. Every. Single. Time.
This week I realized I’d forgotten to feel athletic. And now I’m getting my mojo back thanks to that fateful conversation in a church parking lot.
Even though I’m starting over with the Couch to 5K running plan, even though I find myself having to train for a 20-mile bike ride, even though I currently can’t fathom completing a triathlon or half marathon…
I know without a doubt I’ll again participate in those things I enjoy. And I’ll allow myself to feel athletic as I make my way back.