Starting to run has been the best thing I have ever done for myself. I love it so much and I am totally addicted to the way it makes me feel. Meeting goal after goal has done more for my self-confidence than anything else EVER has.
I get a sick pleasure out of killing my running shoes. Every pair I go through is a trophy to my hard work and effort. Each pair has run hundreds of miles with me. Each pair has been with me through those moments I felt like giving up only to push a little harder and meet my goals! Each pair has a story.
It's always bitter sweet for me to retire my "old friends" who had never let me down (except this last pair on that blasted slip and slide -- but I don't hold that against them), for newbies who will accompany me on my next great adventures!
I am a Asics girl. I feel in love with that brand when Ben told me about them about 3 years ago. They were the only brand that didn't give me blisters until it was time to get new ones (that is the sign!). But I knew after my 8 mile run last week that I needed some new shoes badly and I needed them now so I could break them in well and good before the Ragnar next month.
Ben needed new running shoes too, so we went to Shoe Carnival where they have that great "buy one get one half off deal." I was really disappointed that 1: They only had two designs of Asics there, and 2: they didn't have my size. Completely bummed out, I turned around and saw these babies:
I was so pumped to get out and break in my new shoes! But we had one stop left to go. I wanted to check out a running store that my new FB running friends have been talking about.
We walked in and there were two, very athletic guys working. One comes up to us asks if he can help us. We told him that we were checking out inserts for Ben. Ben forgot his new shoes so he ran back out to the car leaving me to chit chat with Mr. Runner Guy.
"So, your husband's a runner, huh?" He asked.
"Actually, we both are," I told him with a pleased as pie smile. I figure that even though I am not super speedy, I still consider myself a runner. I run some races, I get in some mileage... yeah, I am definitely a runner.
The second the words were out my mouth, he made this funny face. It took me a second to realize he was trying not to laugh at me. He then gave that sideways glance to his buddy... you know the one. It's that look people do when they want to see if their friend heard what they did and feel the same way.
"I am going to run the Ragnar AND the Top of Utah half Marathon," I said hoping to change their minds about me. But he snorted. He actually snorted.
Then suddenly, he tried to be polite, but he was smirking, and won't look me in the eyes when he talked to me. I know I took him by surprise, but I think he thinks I was either lying or that I was going to kill myself trying to do it.
Not only was I upset that he wouldn't look at me when I was talking to him (what is up with that? Why do guys have a hard time looking at girls they find unattractive -- it's so rude), but he was inwardly laughing at me. He really was. I haven't been this "shamed" since I was morbidly obese.
If I was a tough girl, I would have told him what he could do with that smirk. "What? You don't think I can run? Why not? Too fat for your taste? Ugly? Well, I can prove it! Take a look at these leg muscles... look a little closer... Oops, sorry, I have restless leg syndrome. Sorry, your face was in the way of my foot.... Should I call 911?"
Why can't I be that cool?
Instead, Ben came back in and I played my blond ditz card to a tee! I just smiled and flipped my hair and acted like I didn't even notice what a douche he was. Inside, though, I was totally humiliated and crying. We ended up skipping on the inserts and bought some of those blister-free socks. Ben didn't know what had happened, but noticed that I was pretty quiet in the car on the way home. Finally, he asked me what happened and I told him. He wanted to back and punch the guy in the face... I was tempted to let him....
Why do people have to be so judgmental? No, I am not a small woman, I will never be a small woman, but I can be a healthy and fit one! I have worked SO HARD to be where I am today, and to have some stranger laugh at me who doesn't know me, doesn't know my struggles, judge me like that, sucked my self-confidence right out of me.
I hate it that it only takes one meanie weenie to discourage you. And discourage me he did.
Was I a joke? Was I biting off more than I could chew? Who would know better than a running pro right? Maybe they were right to laugh... maybe I was seriously kidding myself.
I felt deflated.
I tried to go on a little run in my new shoes, but I didn't have the heart to push farther than 3 miles. When I went home, I tucked my new running shoes into the corner of the closet and tried not to think of running for a few days.
I got distracted by my Mialisia adventure (I have a FB page up, by the way, come LIKE it!), and had some out of town visitors that kept me busy. But those running shoes were calling my name all week... but I refused to listen.
Yesterday, I had an opportunity to help a couple move out of their house. It being Memorial Day weekend, not many of their friends were around to help out. I didn't know the couple, but I knew his mom, and she is the one that enlisted my help. I DID know him... sort of... I used to babysit him when he was 3 or 4. But as an adult, we were strangers. But I can not resist a moving SOS. I have been on the end when no one comes to help, and I won't let that happen to others, so I popped over there help out.
As I was helping with taking the boxes out of the bedroom, I noticed there was a board with a bunch of running medals hanging on it. The two of them didn't look like "typical" runners, they were built more like me. I asked her mom, who was there helping too, which one was the runner. She told me it was the husband. He had run several races including the two I am going to run this summer. Seeing those medals, earned by someone who didn't look like the Meanie Weenie, lifted my spirits. I knew at that moment that I can't just give in. I can't let one person stop me from living my dreams just because I don't fit the mold.
I continued to think about it the rest of the day. I kept asking myself this question: "Cat, for who are you running?" Myself? Ben and the boys? Yes... but it was much more than that. Finally, after a couple hours of these thoughts looming around me, I figured it out.
I am running for everyone out there who is overweight and lead to believe that will never change.
I am running for all of those people who suffer from asthma and are afraid to be active.
I am running for those out there that are laughed at, mocked or shamed for having seemingly impossible dreams.
I am running to show that so much is possible if you believe you can, hope you can, and work the hardest you have ever worked to make it happen.
To those mean people out there: Watch me run.
I am running. And I am not going to stop.
PS That's me last night. Took my new shoes for a 5 mile run on the treadmill.