This is how I make big decisions: By talking.
Me: We should run a spring marathon.
Marathon Glenn: Let’s run the Salt Lake City marathon! Come on, it will be awesome!
I immediately feel a surge of adrenaline, my heart starts to race.
Me: Really? Yes, yes, yes! Mmm. Could be pricey.
Marathon Glenn: I have flight points. I’ll fly you there.
I literally start sweating.
Me: Seriously? You are awesome. We have four months to train, much better than last time.
Marathon Glenn: Totally. You’re gonna qualify this time.
I see myself crossing the finish line, smashing my PR…
I say YES! jump around the room, wondering if husband will be as thrilled as I. That night, dreams of marathon running swirl in my head. Dreams of running at the base of the Rocky Mountains…dreams of qualifying for Boston after the last failed attempt.
I wake up the next morning in a mad sweat. Buyer’s remorse or something like that. Oh no! What have I done???
The Mommy Guilt is strong, young padawans.
What was I thinking? What did I just commit to? I can’t do this! How can I train for four months in the winter in NEW HAMPSHIRE! I still have to pay the entrance fee. I’ll have to leave my children. I might have to hitchhike home! Marathon Glenn already bought my flight there…is it too late to say never mind? I can’t do this…
I text Marathon Glenn in a panic. He tells me he’ll still run if I don’t. He’s already bought the ticket, but can get a refund within the next 12 hours.
Me: Mom, should I run the Salt Lake City Marathon? (say yes, gosh darn it!)
Mom: That sounds fun…marathons don’t seem very healthy. (I actually told her this years ago. and now she’s using it against me.)
Me: I really want to get to Boston.
Mom: Isn’t that where the bombings were?
Mom: So it shouldn’t happen again.
Okay, so that’s a plus, right?
Me: I told Glenn to cancel my ticket
Gregor, shoveling snow off the roof: Why’d you do that?
Me: Because it’s expensive and…I need you to push me to do this, make me do it.
Gregor: I think you need to make the decision for yourself.
Me: But I want you to say you support me 100%.
Gregor: I support you 100% (a hunk of snow from the roof falls on my head)
Me: You’re just saying that because I’m making you.
More snow falls on my head
Me: It’s expensive (and I’m scared!) and stop shoveling snow on my head!
Gregor: So write a few more articles. Pay your way!
Me: I’d have to be away a few days this spring.
Gregor: I’m not not coaching. I’m capable. Do it, Mama!
What a guy.
The next day, a freelance check arrives in the mail, covering the entrance fee. I take it as a sign!
A question comes to mind:
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
I’d run that marathon.
I tell Glenn not to cancel the flight.
And the four months of training began.
The week after that decision, it’s cold, but not so cold that we can’t run outside. I start logging miles based on the Boston Marathon training plan for beginners. My running buddy gets me through 13 and 14 milers for the long runs. We are feeling groovy. Starting slow and working our way up the mileage chart.
The only thing anyone wants to do is lie down and sleep for the next four months. The birch bark is cold, and peels in protest.
Oh, and let’s talk about the temperature. Tonight it will be a mere -9. Windows are breaking all over America!
I know, boy, I know.
Me: So, is it sunny in Sunnyvale? (I’m not bitter or anything)
Brother: Yeah, most of the time? How’s the training going?
Me: It’s so cooooold.
Brother: You know, you need to channel your inner Rocky. He trained in Russia in the dead of winter and came out the fittest and most ripped he’s ever been!
I mull over this advice.
Meanwhile, Marathon Glenn texted me the other day. He’s training in Denver where it’s sunny and 50.
Am I jealous? Heck yeah.
Does this count as a conversation?
Me: Cope, I ran 14 miles today. Isn’t that awesome? (my language of love is words. I need lots of reassurance.)
Cope: Yeah. I still think you need professional help.
And there you have it, four conversations to get your through the winter blues.
Originally, this was a post on doing hard things and saying yes when you’re afraid. Even when you hate the treadmill. Like, a lot.
p.s. On a warmer and tastier note….the next two days I have some terrific winter soup recipes to share. See you there!