Sometimes the moments that challenge us the most, define us

Deena Kastor

Friday, January 7, 2011

Out of order

I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and had a wonderful time with friends and family. The start of a new year can be a very exciting time. I know for many people it is a time to begin the work towards accomplishing a new goal and look forward to the months ahead with hope and possibly a bit of doubt. For others the new year might be a dreaded thing. And for some, it is a time to just plain start over.

 It has been a while since my last post and I have run quite a bit in the last few weeks. Although I just watched a documentary about three men who decided to run across the Sahara Desert (4,000+ miles) over a period of three months, running up to 60+ miles each day. Now that is quite a bit of running. One of my favorite quotes from the film went something like this: "If you don't want excitement in your life, just run a marathon". Well if you need to be running in 100+ degree weather with a constant stream of sand in your shoes, mouth, nose, and eyes, wondering just how hostile the next border crossing will be (land mines?), just to be excited then I say, "Go for it!" Most healthy-minded people are perfectly content and even get excited to run one marathon at a time.Yes, I know what you are thinking.....but at least I'm not running in a desert! That would be crazy. There could be snakes!

My body seems to be changing a little. I still have my Fred Flinstone calves though, only they are getting bigger. The other day I put on some white knee high socks, thinking I was going to wear a short skirt with them. When I looked in the mirror my calves looked more like those of a bulky rugby player who happens to play the bagpipes on weekends for weddings and other community events. Not the look I was going for.

For those of you who know me well have probably heard me complain about my calves before and know that if I could change anything about my body it would be these two things. I suppose we all have something we wish could be different about our body. For many women I know its  hips, thighs and boobs. For men, I don't know. I guess I never hear of men sitting around the table discussing the tragedy of various body parts or talking about how they are never eating again because the jeans they wore at age fifteen no longer make it past their knees. Its not just what our bodies look like though its what they are capable of doing-or not doing. As we age our bodies begin to respond by slowing down and sometimes malfunctioning. Everyone gets here one way or another. Really its proof of life-the way we grow and change and adapt to our environment with our "new" body. Maybe its part of the meaning of life. I think I've been searching for that for thirty-five years now so I'm only guessing. The problem is that sometimes the things that give our life meaning are the things we aren't able to do anymore because

But we humans are quite awesome that way. We tend to find meaning in everything. And so we move on and find new ways to move our bodies, taste different foods, mend broken friendships, travel to exotic countries, and begin to accept ourselves for who we are-yet again.

I will try not to let so much time go before I write again. This weekend I will be running my first back-to-back 20-milers. Not alot for the weird desert people but its enough for me :) I wish you all well and good luck to those who are in the beginning phases of a new journey.



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