Monday, April 21, 2014

194 Days/Easter

Yesterday was Easter Sunday.  I’m not going to speak much on religious beliefs because that’s not what the blog is about and I think that religion is a personal thing and your belief is as valid as mine.  However, I am still going to write about Easter.

The basics of Easter are that Jesus was put to death on a Friday.  On Sunday Morning, Mary Magdalene ran to the tomb and saw it was empty.  There was an angel there who told her to “Have no fear.”  She told Peter, so Peter and another disciple ran to the tomb and the other disciple out ran Peter, most likely because the other disciple was a Kenyan.  The stone that covered the opening to the tomb was rolled away.  This is believed to be the first example of cross training.  Long story short, Jesus had risen from the dead. 

The significance is that you can have new life.  I’ve been not dieting, I’ve been not exercising.  The good news is that today is a re-start.  I will rise again off my couch.  Thinking about what I haven’t been doing is just a waste of time.  I can't change what I have or haven't done.  It doesn’t matter where you are in terms of your training or lack thereof, declare today a “Re-Birth” and begin again.  It’s never too late.

The second significance is the phrase “Have no fear.”  In our lives, we find so many things that we are afraid of but what is fear?  Most people will use the word or a similar word to define the word, like saying “Fear is when you are afraid of something.”  Everyone accepts the circular definition but really it means nothing.  I’ve tried to define fear; I know that I’ve certainly felt it at various times in my life.  During my “Orientation to the Bar” CLE program, the speaker finally defined fear in a way that was useful and obviously impactful:

Fear is merely a lack of preparation. 

And that’s it.  It’s very simple.  We are afraid of things only because we are not ready for them.  We are doubly afraid of things in the dark because we don’t even know what it is that we aren’t ready for.  There is still time to prepare.  I make that statement confidently regarding the marathon.  It is going fast though.

A second thought on fear: Last year while prepping for the marathon, I posted an article about how I wasn’t as concerned with my time, just concerned with finishing and someone commented on me being “fearless.”  I thought about that statement and thought I was a pretty big badass.  The more I thought about it though, I was wondering what it was exactly that I was expected to fear.  I assume (although I know how much trouble we get in with that word) that the person meant that I wasn’t afraid to fail.  I’ve failed things before.  I'll fail again.

This leads me to what I think was the most important run I participated in last year, the Harry Chapin Run Against Hunger on October 20th, about two weeks before the Marathon.  It was a 10k in Croton which was a lot hillier than I thought it would be.  I almost got bit by a dog, I got lost twice, I got into an argument with a motorist and was suffering from runner's knee.  I found myself listening for Harry's music over the speakers near the finish line and using that as a guide to pick which turns I would make.  The entire time I was racing, I was cursing out my sister for making me participate and planning on withdrawing from the marathon.  Between my runner's knee and the hilly terrain, I decided that there was no way I could possibly finish the marathon.  What really cemented it was an older woman who passed me while she was speedwalking telling me I was doing a great job "just being out there."

When I got to the end, I was literally the last person through before they broke down the Finish Line.  The music had stopped playing and the other people had gone home.  It was only my sister and a guy asking me if I knew if there were any other stragglers still out there.

Since I had been accepted into the washed out Marathon in 2012 I had been posting that I was going to run the NYC Marathon.  So while on the course for the Harry Chapin Race I began crafting the post on Facebook telling people that I would be withdrawing from the race.  As I was working on it in my head, I came to the realization that it wouldn't be telling people that I didn't have the strength to finish that would be embarrassing, it would be telling them that I didn't even have the courage to start.

Today, I have the courage to start my training again.  I wish everyone reading this (all 8 of you) the audacity to believe that you can accomplish something great.  Erase the word fear from your vocabulary.  Get ahead of what is coming up on the horizon.  The journey of 26.2 begins with a single step.

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