A flip switched this weekend. Or perhaps I just reached that milestone (one of the ones that they don't keep track of once we get past adolescence) in which the Calm Voice of Prudence wins out over the Demanding Screams of the Inner Child. It took me long enough, I know. But hey, at least it happened.
You see, the Monster Dash Half Marathon was Saturday. I have been running for a few weeks now, slowly, cautiously but running none the less. Last week I was able to complete an eight mile jog, with very little in the way of repercussions afterwards. I have spent months now working through the physical therapy exercises that seem to take up far too much of my day but also seem to be helping. And so, with my new zero-gravity Hoka One One shoes in hand, well, on my feet technically, (think marshmallow boats) I decided I would go ahead and do the Monster Dash with my friend, running very slow miles, until I needed to stop. No one really thought I could do that for it isn't in my nature (the slow nor the stopping). Shoot, even I doubted my ability to keep hold of the reins under such circumstances.
But, after getting past the initial longing to line up right behind the elite runners, I soon found myself on a nice, gentle run with good company and all sorts of time to people watch. It was like being a moving spectator. Why, this isn't nearly as bad as I had imagined, I thought.
As I was nearing the point where the 10 mile race veers off to its finish and the half marathon race continues on, I told my running partner that I was not going to go the distance. I needed to stop, to play it safe, to listen to my body. I wished her well and then took the path toward the 10 mile finish. But as I neared the finish line I hesitated. I actually jumped into the grassy median between the two roads and ran alongside the 13 milers until I had to stop and make a decision: go against my gut and push on, or walk to the buses and ride to the post-race party knowing I hadn't finished the race I signed up for.
My Inner Child screamed at me: We don't quit in the middle! We don't run just some of the way! We don't stop short! Don't be a woos! But, my Wiser Self came through strong and clear: Sometimes you have to lose a battle in order to win a war. Sometimes you have to be forward thinking, not stuck in the immediate. Sometimes you have to play it safe now so that you can continue to play later. Keep your eye on the ball. (The ball is Boston, child, Boston!)
And when none of those tactics worked, Wise Old Prudence aimed low and asked the Bratty Child: Do you really want such a slow time to show up on our record? And BAM! Just like that, I walked off the course.
Point for Wisdom.
(I have learned that we often have to work with people from where they are, not from where we want them to be. That's just life and apparently it even holds true when we are dealing with our own inner discourse. I have a feeling this battle is not entirely over though. Just a hunch.)
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