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03 May 2009

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Charlotte (Matilda)

I am someone who has never been an athlete although I have always been naturally strong but I think I understand what you are talking about here and those feelings and memories that weigh on your heart. I don't have any answers for your questions but I do have an anecdote to share with you. Last Sunday, we saw one of our beloved Cistercian priests standing outside the monastery in his running clothes after Mass. He was obviously going to some kind of marathon or 5K, I'm not sure which. Mind you, he is one of the older monks who came over from Hungary in the 1950's to escape the Communist persecution. Anyway, I saw him this Sunday and asked him how is race went. His eyes lit up and a huge smile sprinted across his face. "Really well", he said. "I placed first in my age group!" And then he almost whispered, "I was older by 6 years than anyone else who finished." He was practically beaming! You could see how proud he was of himself. I don't know whether or not he considers himself an athlete but he was certainly proud of his accomplishment.

You said, "I know I would like to do it, but I do not know why, and that leaves me feeling odd, like I don't understand myself at all." Maybe you should just enjoy your feeling of accomplishment and see where that takes you.

Kate

As a latecomer to the story of your journey from 'sedentary to athlete', I found this post and the one before it really fascinating. I've never run myself, and for pretty much the same reasons you have trouble thinking of yourself as an athlete. I can barely stand to jog because I am sure I look ridiculous and that other people are laughing at me.

But...this is what I was thinking of reading this, thinking of the reasons I used to read your blog. Did you find any correlation between the way you handled your run (obviously very interior, self-contained, analytical) and the way you handle labor? I've often compared natural labor to running marathon and wondered (since I don't run marathons) whether that was a legitimate comparison. And if it is, maybe there's some of the same feeling at the end, (without the baby of course!) but that endorphin rush, feeling of well-being and accomplishment.

In any case, I'm impressed and inspired! And if I may suggest....since you already swim, maybe you could pick up a bicycle and train for a triathlon next?

bearing

Wow, these are great comments! Thank you!

I love the story of the Cistercian, indeed of anyone older who's still very physically active.

Labor -- I'll have to think about that. Watch for it in an upcoming post. As for biking, I already love bicycling and try to do a couple 30+ mile rides every summer. The thing that keeps me from thinking I want to do triathlons is that I don't much like open water swimming!

laura

I have been in denial for over 10 years that I am, in fact, "a runner". See? I still put quotes around it! I feel like actual runners are those people who can run in a bra and panties and still look athletic, long, tight, and lean. The truth is: anyone can be a runner. So, I AM a runner. No quotes around it! I just ran 20 miles last weekend in prep for the Grandma's Marathon! That's the most I've ever run in one shot before! I didn't even die! Good for you on your first race...you ROCK. You ARE a runner!

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