Welcome back! I haven't posted for a while. I simply haven't had time or energy. Plus, not much new to report on the running front. But, lots to share elsewhere. December has been one crazy, busy month already, and Christmas is still a week away! Most of my time and focus early this month was on preparations for leading the children in our church's Christmas musical. We did "The Christmas County Spelling Bee." I had been rehearsing with the choir since September, but we still had a lot to put together during the last couple of weeks. At times, I wasn't sure we'd be able to pull it all off, but with lots of prayer, it was a success. The kids did amazingly well!
This experience reminded me of why I love running so much. While music has been a big part of my life ever since I was a little girl and it was my first passion, there are reasons why I don't enjoy being a musician. I am a born and raised perfectionist and it's very difficult for me to ever feel like anything is really ready. In my mind, I can always do more. I've always been my worst critic before all my musical performances, and working with the choir was no different. I knew I couldn't (and shouldn't) expect it to go perfectly and the kids were adequately prepared, but I still had trouble feeling okay about it all. Since I knew I couldn't control every aspect of the musical, I was going to have to trust and just do the best on my part.
Running is different. It's a solo act. While my husband/coach does all he can to help prepare me for the big day, I take on the responsibility of getting myself ready. If something goes wrong and I mess up in training or on race day, I feel I only have myself to blame. The great thing about running is that I can use the adrenaline from my nerves to get me going. I can prepare myself physically and mentally by getting pumped up with all my favorite music. I can stand on the starting line with my heart pounding and palms sweating and know that somewhere in that first mile, my legs, breathing, and my heart will eventually find a good rhythm. It's physical!!
Yes, you can argue that making music is a physical act too, but all those nervous qualities I so often exhibit (fast breathing, fast heartrate, overactive mind) don't benefit me while I'm performing. They often times get in the way. When I'm singing or playing, I don't want my heart racing. I need to feel the music and get into the rhythm of the piece, not my body and mind. Performing music a mental game for me, not so much physical like running is. I don't know if all this makes sense or if you even care to read about all this, but it was just an observation I had as I was preparing for this musical. I think what really brought it to my attention was Eladio playing "It's a Fight" from Rocky Balboa right before I left the house. He thought it would pump me up in a good way like right before my races. But, I warned him that it was counterproductive and I needed something more calm and soothing. I don't think he got it, but I appreciate his efforts to try to help me. Thankfully, through God's amazing grace, I found the peace and trust I needed right before we stepped out on the stage and everything turned out just fine. Yet, another test of my faith and ability to let go and trust God to do His work. I was reminded that it's not about me, it's not about the kids and a perfect performance, it's about glorifying God and spreading the His Good News to all the people. I pray we were able to accomplish that.
That was last Sunday. This week has been filled with making delicious, decadent, calorie-laden Christmas treats to give away. Sadly, not all of them have made it out of my kitchen, but have been filling my tummy instead. We've had some very cold days here the past couple of weeks and with being so busy and tired, I've not done much running. The little I have done has been trudging along on the the treadmill at the gym. Not my favorite thing to do, but about all I can handle when it's single digits and below zero windchills outside. I'm giving myself a break and not feeling guilty for the lack of running lately. I know there will be time for heavy training and pushing through my tiredness and busy life, but not now. It's still my off-season. Marathon training will be here soon enough (mid-January!). It's time to enjoy this Christmas season and finish up my shopping.
I do have an interesting story to share about my workout yesterday, but I'll save that for my next posting. I'm still recovering and need some time to process my thoughts. Stay warm and stay well! God bless.