Tuesday, June 17, 2008

just do it

Oh my glorious field of blue, how I've missed you! I don't even know how to begin. You know I adhere to that crazy belief: if I don't have anything nice (read: perfect, thought-provoking, profound, insightful, clever) to say, I'd rather say nothing at all. Hence the recent silence on this blog!

It's hard to get back to this. But this phrase has been my mantra today: JUST DO IT.

So here I am, doing it. Just do it, girl, quit making excuses. You know you need to make that phone call, schedule that appointment, say that prayer, talk to that friend, clean that bathroom, run that mile (OK, walk it if you have to),try that new hairstyle, WRITE THAT BLOG!

Do it, do it, do it.

OK. Feeling a bit overwhelmed these days? Of course, as always, but committed to the dual task of getting the job done while seeking excellence, not perfection. Truth be told, I crossed quite a few items off the to-do list today. Let's talk about one that's new to me: running that mile.

I've been walking daily for the last few months, and today I decided it was time to pick up the pace. I actually made the decision a few days ago, after walking several miles and feeling quite fit and self-satisfied. Walking is getting so easy, I thought. How much harder can it be to run?

It's harder. A lot harder.

When I say I've never run in my life, I'm not exaggerating. I have truly never, EVER, "gone for a run." I was an unathletic child, one who preferred books to playground games. When the other 'tweens were signing up for summer baseball and cheerleading, I was writing poetry. In highschool I was forced to get active by a stern, masculine-looking phys-ed instructor. I had planned to spend the semester whiling away blissful hours in a creative writing class, but that course was full. Phys-ed was my destiny, and I was astonished to discover that sports could actually be fun. We played badminton and tennis, basketball and field hockey, and swam hundreds of laps. But when that semester ended, and no personal trainer appeared to take my new favorite teacher's place, I sat back down and picked up my pen and opened my books once more.

I didn't give exercising much of a thought until my mid-thirties, when I decided it was time to get moving. There's so much to share here; body image issues, weight loss battles, baby fat gained and lost, gained and lost. For now I'll just say that I discovered the joy of moving my body and feeling strong.

I've been craving that strength lately, bigtime. So I've begun to walk again, and today, to run.

For the first time in my life, I rode my bike to a track near my home, bent to retie my shoelaces, and started to run. Many things prevented me from trying this sooner. Will people laugh? Will I hurt myself? My knees might give out. That foot might not be ready for this. I might fall, or wet my pants!

Many thoughts went through my mind this morning, but chiefly this one: Oh dear Lord, why is it so hard to breathe? Running is harder than walking. Yup.

So I ran, and not far, but I ran. Then I walked, and I ran some more. And tomorrow, I just might do it again.

Because once I was able to catch my breath, and realize that even if someone was laughing I didn't care, I began to feel strong. I was proud of myself. Because I was doing it.

I've done lots of things in my life, but I tend to focus on my failures instead of my successes. As I ran this morning, feeling powerful because I was doing something foreign and uncomfortable, I thought about the many other things I've done in my life. (I think I'll list a few here just to make myself feel good.) I've given life to seven children. One is already waiting for me in Heaven, one is married off to a wonderful young man, and another will soon be a wife as well. My four boys are kind and funny. My marriage is solid.

I've written and published a book, earned a college degree, performed in community theatre, and home-educated my children. I've built many friendships, and kept strong ties with my family. I have done some silly things and taken some odd risks, but that's good. I've been laughed at more than once. A few years ago I put in my name for consideration for a city council position (admittedly, something I knew nothing about and was unqualified for, but why not, right?) Upon hearing this, a gal I know burst out laughing. (Right to my face, can you imagine? Didn't even have the courtesy to laugh at me behind my back!) She thought it was hysterical, but I did get two votes from council members, the most of any candidate. So there!

So I've done lots of cool stuff, tried some challenging things, set some goals and met them. I really should feel proud and content, but of course, like most people, I don't. I remember the laughing friend, not the two votes. I think of the articles declined for publication, not the book that's in print. I contemplate the lost opportunities instead of the ones I've embraced.

How ridiculous. Today I went for a run. And I just might go again tomorrow.

What are you thinking about doing? Feeling scared, inadequate, uncertain?

You're not the only one. Try it anyway.

Just do it.

"...and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us." Hebrews 12:1


Rachel said...


Thank you for visiting my blog, because now I have found yours! You look too young to have a married daughter. And I have to say that I, too, have been going from walking to running recently. However, I have only had 3 kids but they banged things around enough in my bod that if I run without er...how shall I say this...protection, I'll wet my pants. Pathetic, hysterical, but true! (It happened yesterday!)

Thanks for the comment about my blog being real. I'm a bit of a whiner, tho. But, living with a Bipolar child, I need a place to whine.

Kate said...

You go girl. I've been meaning to start running again. I started running and never stopped until a recurring injury sidelined me when I was in my third trimester with my first. I figured that was a good sign to stop pushing myself so hard. But I could put those running shoes on again, but I'm afraid. I'm afraid I won't be as "good" as it as I used to be. I'm afraid to appear weak (and out of breath). Too often I don't try new things because I don't liked medocrity (or just plain lousiness). I want to be the BEST at everything, but that can wear on a girl's body and soul.

So maybe the next time I'm on a walk, I'll slip into a run in honor of you and the inspiration you gave me.

God bless (oh, and the running will get easier. I hated running when I first started and then it became my favorite activity and a great way for me to get in the zone and talk to God...)

Rachel said...

I'm just glad you don't pee your pants anymore Mom.


Anonymous said...

I haven't been here in awhile, but today I'm glad I decided to look more intensely at my blogroll and read some I haven't visited in awhile!

What a great and inspiring post, Cathy. And by the way, your daughter's wedding looked wonderful. Beautiful - you look like a sister to her!

I haven't even started walking... but you've gotten me closer to doing so by writing that post.

I did, however, move 1.5 cubic yards of topsoil by myself! That counts for something, eh? LOL

God bless you - you have many accomplishments to your life and I'm sure many more to come!