Wednesday, November 12, 2014

13.1 miles

It's normal in life to create a bucketlist, lots of people do it.  Lots of people make note of things they want to do before they...die. er, before some life-altering event that might make such things relatively impossible, improbable, or maybe just harder. Life becomes all about checking something else off the list.
Of course I have one, but I'm thinking about deleting it, crumpling it up, throwing it away, and living without a second thought to what's next on the list. Now before you label me as purpose-less, unmotivated, ambition-less or goal-less: allow me to explain.
Life isn't made up of events, which can be carefully and strategically crossed off the list, life is about experience.
I ran a half-marathon this last weekend, and it was an impressive feat, if I do say so myself. I was undertrained and probably under qualified. So I did it anyway, and my uncle asks me, "so is that done now? did you get it over with, and now you just cross it off your list and never look back" (or something along that sentiment). and I realized something with my rather automatic response, no. It's not. It wasn't a one time thing, it wasn't just an event.
Sure, I was running because I wanted to label myself as legitimate enough to run a half marathon. "I RAN A HALF-MARATHON" how cool does that sound? The whole time, I was so focused on that finish line, about ending, about being able to say I accomplished such a feat. Of course, much like life surprises us, I was surprised to find, At about mile 10, when my legs were getting tired, and I'd been running already for a really long time, that the race became no longer about that finish line. It was just about me, sweaty and exhausted, finding one more burst of energy not to stop and not to give up. The race was repeating encouragement to myself, a new song which changed my whole attitude, thoughts and thoughtlessness, and carrying a gatorade gel for three and a half miles before I was brave enough to attempt consumption. But I did. The beauty of that day was not posing for the picture at the end (because we all know I looked anything less than beautiful), rather it was every step of every mile, every conscious self-evaluation that still found me breathing and feeling great.
So, that day was an experience, a million little moments lived, not just something crossed off the bucketlist. 

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