Thursday, October 20, 2011

No Excuses

Competitive, yes. Talented, no. 

That pretty much sums up my athletic ability since I was a child.  I wasn’t involved in many sports, but those I did play, I played fiercely.  And was mediocre.  So I pursued things I was good at – namely academics and school leadership activities.

I was never very comfortable with my body, always seeing its flaws and weaknesses. Sad, but typical, I suppose, for many girls and women (and probably men too).  Yet, I was usually up for trying new things.  I played powderpuff football and “speedball” all 4 years of high school during spirit week.  I played on a dodgeball league in law school (which was uber fun). I went through periods of working out habitually, followed by much longer periods of no regular physical activity to speak of. 

I was not a runner.  Never that. 

Life happened.  Work.  Kids. Loss of work.  More work. More kids. 

Time.  Never, ever enough time. 

A million excuses. A fair amount of self-disgust.  Things that used to be easy, were difficult.  Playing with the kids was a chore. Always tired…

Until, one day, it was finally enough.

I threw on layers and sweats, gloves and a hat and headed out into the February night.  Yes night.  Darkness covered my shame.  And it began.  One minute of running and then two.  Lots of walking.  But then less, and less.  Forced myself to push through.  It was usually terrible.  Slow and plodding. Certainly not enjoyable. 

Until it was over.  That feeling, that after-run feeling.  Even in those early days, I couldn’t deny its power.  The satisfaction.  The pride.

I signed up for a 5k in early May with a friend.  She really kept me motivated.  I think I may have given up along the way if not for her.  Not because she would send me flowery inspirational messages or because she employed tough love.  Early on, the main source of motivation was simply my stubborn competitiveness.  I knew I would feel like a failure if she kept running and I didn’t! 

We ran the 5k together.  I felt awful and let my friend go on ahead (she did awesome!).  I finished it, but felt so awful.  I thought I was going to be sick across the finish line.  (I wasn’t – phew). 

But that feeling was there.   The pride.  Accomplishment? 

So I didn’t quit.

This past weekend, I crossed off a bucket list item. I ran a half marathon.  It wasn’t particularly pretty, but I finished.  And that was my main goal.

I don’t say this to brag.  (Well, maybe just a little).

I say this because this was something I never thought I would do – not something I would want to do or could do.

Once I realized I could, I couldn’t help but want to.

It’s been about 8 months since I started running.  I’ve lost nearly 40 lbs.  And found myself. 

It’s still not easy. But I’m done with excuses.


  1. This is simply AWESOME! GO Cat!

  2. AWESOME, job, CAT!! Doing a 1/2 is such a big deal...particularly since you have ONLY been running for 8 months. I didn't realize you lost 40 lbs. along the way! FANTASTIC!!

  3. woo hoo! i feel the same way about my athletic ability and running and did a 5k with a friend a few years ago as a challenge too. nothing like that runner's high :)

  4. Yay for you, Cat! I hope you inspire many more to take the plunge into the running life!

  5. Great job, Cat! What an inspiration!

  6. That is awesome Cat! And very inspirational :)