Sunday, April 10, 2016

My Rocky Balboa Moment

an excerpt from my journal after my run yesterday. 

April 9. 2016.

 Saturday and my long run day. I look forward to these runs, especially because now that I'm doing a new training program, finally incorporating what I should always be doing: strength training, and I want to figure out if it is making a difference yet. I don't expect magical results, I know that it will take time for that new training to help me improve my running time, but I look forward to seeing if my body feels a little stronger today.

 Only today I am not excited to step out the door because it's April and it's snowing! I don't like cold weather, and I am over winter, and somehow, I wake up and find snow on the ground! This is ridiculous! however, I need to run so I will drag out my running gloves and see what I can do.

As I step out the door, the biting wind nips at my face. I hope that as I get going, my body will warm up. In my mind I think to myself oh good, the wind is hitting me now, so on my way home, it will be at my back. At least that was encouraging. Perhaps the cold seeping into my skin will also motivate my speed. It's very strange to see bright green grass, a beautiful sign of spring, blanketed in a fresh coating of pure white snow. If it were December, I'd probably enjoy the sight. Today, I am less than thrilled. But I push on.

As I gear up my speed into mile 2, the wind somehow got worse! I am so glad I put on lip balm before going out the door, because this is wind that will peel the lips for sure. I muttered some words under my breath, kicked my feet a little harder and bent my head for a moment to attempt dodging the wind for a brief second. The wind is so bitter that it makes my eyes water and that moisture seemingly froze to my eyelashes. I can pretend that I'm so fast like Flash Gordon, that the wind is making it freeze, but that is so far from the truth. My lungs burn in the frigid air,  and I feel like my heart is pumping out of my chest. I guess I need to slow down - I'm running so fast my heartbeat is out of control. I'm running to warm myself up, but I am allowing my feet to get ahead of my body and my heart is telling me to slow down.  I carried on for another couple miles and then turned around to head home.

How is it possible that the wind shifted so that it is against me on the way home, too?!? I am not a fan of this run. Or this weather. The competitive side of me wants to see improvement. I'm running a 12 minute mile- that is a de-provement (I made that word up... but you get the point). I was reaching a cross-walk area and I have only a half mile to go. The wind is more fierce now, piercing my cheeks. I tuck my head and punch at the air. When the passengers in the cars look at me, I pretend I'm listening to Eye of the Tiger and for a minute, I'm like Rocky Balboa, training for a huge fight. For a moment, I act like this is my movie star debut.  (The truth is, I was punching the air in frustration because the wind was punching me in the face.) But I pretended I was Rocky, conquering the world.

 I finished the run in an hour. I didn't get in quite as many miles as I wanted and I certainly was not as fast as I would have liked. But I didn't quit. I kept going. Because I am not a quitter. As my friend told me earlier this week, "Knock it off, you don't have quit in you!" He was right. But every now and then I need that reminder.
  I took a deep breath as I reached my front door  and stepped into the warmth. The change in temperature was so drastic that my glasses fogged up. I was glad to have finished.

  An hour later, as my daughter and I drove away to run errands, she said to me "Mom, I admire you for going out running in this weather, especially when you didn't feel like it."

 I smiled. The mile time didn't matter, but because of my daughter's statement, somehow my crazy Rocky Balboa moment in the morning in the end made a difference. And THAT made the ridiculously cold April run 100% worth it. I wasn't Rocky Balboa like I pretended, but somehow I somehow had accomplished setting an example I didn't even realize. And for that alone, I'd go out in that cold wind all over again. You never know to whom your actions are speaking. Don't give up. Even if it means pretending to be Rocky Balboa.


  1. Aw, love the quote from your daughter. How sweet!

    1. she's pretty cool! but her comment boosted me