Why I need people to cheer me on.

Last summer, my sister-in-law ran a 5K in Nisswa, MN.  The rest of us sat on the sidelines, drinking coffee, cheering her on.  When she finished she suggested that we all run it next year as a family.

I’m not a runner.

But I do thrive on achieving long-term goals.

After I completed 16 weeks of doctoral level coursework this winter and launched my first book (Learn more about Walking with Tension here), I figured I better move towards something, or I’m going to be lost.

So, on Monday, March 3rd, I headed to the Reebok store and purchased new running shoes, and on Tuesday, March 4th I laced them up and hit the track.

I’m training using a modified version of the Couch to 5K program, taking two weeks for each phase of the program instead of one.  My goal is not necessarily to run the race this summer, but to at least be prepared to run/walk it successfully.

I wish I could tell you that every day has been awesome.

There have certainly been times when moving has felt like a religious experience.  There have been moments when I’ve changed my socks and shoes, holding my callused feet in my hands, offering a word of thanks for feet that have worked so hard for so long to support a body that moves differently.  There have been moments of surprise of how well my body can move and will even compensate for hamstrings that are tight.

The truth is: most days are hard.

I always wonder when people say they “Saw me at the activity center.”  What do I actually look like in their eyes? Tangled yet determined I’m sure. (Last week I was passed by a mom walking while pushing a stroller.  “But you were jogging! She encouraged me afterwards.) Sometimes it’s hard not to get mad at every muscle in my body because sometimes I swear that unbeknownst to me, every muscle in my legs convened a committee meeting without my consent and decided not to cooperate; stubbornly rebelling with every step.  Sometimes the reality of cerebral palsy is discouraging.  I want to push harder and faster, but my muscles are tight.  It feels like someone is hitting the breaks.

More than anything, I realized today that I need a cheering section.

I’ve been hesitant to write about this goal, because I wasn’t sure if I really could take myself seriously, but I realized today as I went around the track that I’d really like to finish what I’ve started.  I took most of last week off due to my book launch and resulting fatigue.  I wouldn’t have gone today if I wouldn’t have reached out to a colleague and said, “Just for accountability’s sake, I’m going to tell you right now, I’m going to the track,” and out the door I went.

I began to wonder as I moved around the track, what it would be like if I got over my insecurities and let people know what I was trying to attempt.  July 4th seems like a long way away today, but I don’t want to give up.

So, if you feel so inclined, cheer me on.

Send me an e-mail (walkingwithtension@gmail.com), give me a shout out on Facebook, or simply ask me, “How’s it going?”  I’d love to know I have people in my corner, cheering me on.