I’ve worn a lot of shoes in my life. Pretty weird looking statement on paper, but nonetheless… Mostly heels. I love heels; they add height and confidence and I always thought the higher, the better. When I was working, I wore heels everyday- splashes of color, wild prints, sleek and sophisticated- my love for the heel held no prejudice. The persona they created for me added sass to my day and if you were to look at my shoe collection, you’d say a lot of sass. lol It may seem ridiculous to some, but those heels gave me a sense of power, like I could meet the day’s challenges head on and… win. Although now that I’m a stay at home mom and flip flops are my preferred mode of shoe, I’ll never lose my passion for the heel. (New job, new shoes to fill I guess. :) ) Recently, however, I’ve developed a passion for a new kind of footwear- the tennis shoe.
I think I need to rewind and provide a little personal background before we discuss my newfound respect for the tennis shoe. I’ve always been athletic having grown up playing sports and being raised in an active, outdoorsy family. I mean, my parents didn’t have cable ‘til I went away to college for Pete’s sake. We were doing, doing, doing, not watching someone else do. :) Suffice it to say, all the dance and then sports kept me in great shape pretty much through college and then my Mom’s amazing genetics kept me looking like I was in shape from then until now. (Hallelujah Mom!) I grew lazy and the thought of using the gym pass my Mom wistfully purchased 20 years ago (literally) completely repulsed me. I don’t know why. I even married a man who does triathlons, marathons and has completed a full Ironman- I know, I know, it makes no sense. I laugh because the one thing that frustrates him to no end is my refusal to exercise. He even bought me a road bike years ago in hopes I would join him on his rides. I’ve used that thing 3 times. Oops. (On a bit of a redeeming note for you cyclists out there, I am obsessed with Le Tour and I’d probably amaze you with my knowledge.) Back to the tennis shoe though.
So here I am now- a Mommy in flip flops wondering what I should do with my life besides raise my adorable son, which I know if you’re a good Mom is plenty. And I thought I want to feel I’m bettering someone’s life while pushing my own limits, like I did when teaching… What can I change? How? Who? And then it came to me.
Run a marathon, Megan.
Whaaaaaaaaat?!?! That’s insane. You can’t even run a mile without complaining and wheezing! This is 26.2 miles. Straight. In only hours. By yourself.
Even better, Megan. And… Make. It. Count.
If you’ve read my writings before, you know Epilepsy is something I battle and spreading awareness makes me passionate. There it is. And so I’ve decided to run my first full marathon in Febuary to raise awareness and money for Epilepsy research towards finding a cure. The next day, my little family descended on Road Runners and I bought what I think will be one of the most significant pairs of shoes I may ever fill. I felt renewed, energized and determined when I put them on.
My husband and I established a training program and I was off. I went for my first run and then a second and a third, wheezing and praying the entire time, already making plausible excuses in my head. On the fourth run, my ankles started to ache and my knees began to throb like they used to after so many years of soccer. I felt self-doubt creep in. I went to an orthopedist and had x-rays done. Plenty of cartilage in my knees but my legs are a little bowed (wow, not what a semi-vain woman wants to hear lol) and so that could cause pain. I left the doc’s office worried I wouldn’t be able to complete what I’d become so determined to do. I got in the car and started to feel floaty- no doubt from panic- and began to practice my deep breathing. This is exactly why I want to finish the marathon, raise the money for research and dare myself to step out of my comfort zone to accomplish both. Why should I have to experience an aura and possibly have a seizure when I panic? I shouldn’t.
I used every ounce of self-discipline and forced myself to wait out my throbbing ankles and sore knees. It killed me. I’m a full steam ahead type of girl once my mind’s set on something and this took extreme self-control. I decided to start over; I needed to strengthen the muscles around my knees and in my legs before I could actually start running. Sooooo, I remembered that gym pass my Mom still paid for, bought some legitimate workout clothes, woke my butt up super early and started my journey.
I’m getting stronger every day. In fact, I ran 4.5 miles yesterday (looks pathetic on paper) but they were 4.5 STRONG miles- I felt I could’ve done more. I reminded myself; you have 5 ½ months and a training plan, take it slow. My heart’s pounding right now just thinking of the monumental task in front of me, yet it’s an electric feeling.
I rode that high and registered for the marathon when I got home. It’s official. I don’t care if I run, walk or crawl those 26.2 miles to cross that finish line, I will do it. In these shoes. For myself and others battling Epilepsy. I’m going to run towards that cure and someday, we’ll find it.
Now, you’ll have to excuse me- it’s time for my morning chase. ;-)