10am on a Saturday.
I wasn’t suppose to run in Sarasota. I was supposed to run in Melbourne. But life happens. I was supposed drive my parents across the state. We had a lunch date with one of our favorite cadets from the class of ’89, spend the night with one of our favorite Army Chaplains, brunch with one of my high school heroines… But life happens. Dad wasn’t well enough to travel, my toddler had the flu, yada yada yada.
I had to adjust.
I went immediately to my go-to race websites and started my search for a local race. I have a schedule to run all 50 states and every deviation poses a domino threat of epic proportions.
As luck would have it, theres a new state park a mile from my little house down here that was hosting a race. I put on my new Run 50 tshirt and headed out. As soon as I pulled up I realized I was in trouble.
It was an ultra marathon 50k race.
50k. Once again for the cheap seats – 50k.
There are 3 reasons I won’t run a 50k:
- I am not a masochist.
- I have not trained nor do I have the time to train for that distance.
- See #1.
I walked up to the race table and they immediately bibbed me up and sent me on the trail. About 2 miles into the run I realized the irony: I was wearing a Run 50 tshirt.
WHAT DO I DO NOW? I CAN’T RUN ALL DAY! THERES A SALE AT MACYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ran another 2 miles to the water station that crossed the main road, ripped off my bib number, waved a “thank you!” to the volunteers and hauled ass in the other direction.
Change is hard but necessary. There have been plenty of times I’ve had to make major life changes. I’ve changed colleges, majors, jobs, marriages, parts of the country. I wear more sunscreen and eat less meat. I play harder with my kid and less with my phone. I canceled the cable and bought more books. Change is hard. My dad developed Parkinsons and everything changed. It can take a while to adjust to your new circumstances. It can lead to depression, anxiety and fear. I see the fear most in my friends transitioning out of the military. Don’t lose hope! With a few turns of the wheel the boat rights itself. And if it doesn’t, there are people out there who can help you sail in the right direction. Ask for help. Reach out to people around you. I’ve found incredible support during these past years of running for my Dad through our giant West Point family. (stay tuned for my blog post about me and my Long Gray Line.) Churches provide supportive communities as well as Veterans groups like IAVA and my favorite running group, Team RWB.
Life happens. Change sucks. Get up and Run to Win.
Just make sure you’re not wearing the band’s tshirt to the concert. (or the ultra marathon.) Wear THIS shirt instead!
Up next – New Orleans.
Stay classy, Florida.