Background: Running and I have a complicated relationship. It's sort of a love/hate kind of thing. Mostly the hating part which stemmed from my mental hang-ups about trying to be good enough (fast enough, able to go long distances, etc.) For some reason, as I got more and more into running, it became too competitive in my own mind. It became a measure of my value as a person. I know that is stupid, and I am certainly not proud of it. I was beating myself up all the time, comparing myself to others, and basically miserable.
Then, I got the horrible leg injury that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. It forced me to stop for a while, then go slowly. Along the way I learned to love myself, and love my body's running ability for what it is instead of what I thought it should be. Suddenly, my knee pain is completely gone. I happen to believe that it is miraculous. I learned the lessons I was meant to learn and God removed it. I'm sure some people would find that difficult to believe, but I can find hardly any other explanation. I hurt for a very long time and then it was better.
This brings me to my great new idea. I'd like to keep my focus on what's important (having fun running and enjoying its mental and physical benefits without berating myself.) I'd like to run one race event per month in 2012 and each event with a different friend. 12 events. 12 friends. 12 charities supported. 12 fun mornings (perhaps in fun locations...road trip!). 12 memorable times that encourage viewing running as a pleasure (you bet I'll be blogging about each of them.) This isn't going to be about pace, or improvement, or meeting new distance goals. It's going to be about relationships.
In fact, I am hoping that at least a couple of the friends who join me for an event next year might be running their first ever 5K. I would love to be able to encourage someone to attempt something new without fear of failure or unreasonable self-demands.
I'm guessing that over the course of the year I might even learn a thing or two more about acceptance, peace, friendship, joy, and just appreciating life's blessings. Maybe someone reading this right now is interested in running an event with me next year- well, let me know! I've got some wonderful friends, and I'm looking forward to spending time with them in this special way.