In a week I am running -- I am racing -- in my first organized event, the Shamrock Run. I have butterflies.
I've been running/jogging/sloshing along for much of my life. Only this year did I feel an inspiration to raise the bar. I joined a running club, which for me should be change enough to cover me at least a couple years. But no, I want more. I want it all in fact. My plan this year is to train my buns off (literally, they need a little trimming), run in a number of races from 5k to half marathon, run the Hood to Coast relay late summer, then the Portland Marathon in the fall.
I am aware that this plan is giantly ambitious, and will require some steely resolve. I am going to do it.
How do I know? I love life. I can choose anything I want to do, anything at all, and just by pouring all my energy into it I can make it so. What an amazing gift! It's unreal all the wonderful things there are to choose from -- I want them all. I'd like to sing in a rock band, climb Mt. Everest, learn to surf, speak 5 languages, road trip every weekend, rewire a lamp, change my bike's bearings, kayak down the Pacific coast. Now.
I think it's only because of how much time I spent feeling helpless, hopeless, and lost that I can really feel the truth of this. I have always firmly believed that a full understanding of life comes from seeing, from living both sides. I've been an addict, I've been hopelessly depressed, aimless, unimportant. A wandering soul, watching time float away.
I now want the most of myself in everything I do. The challenge becomes funneling my energy into just a couple of areas so I'm not spreading it too thin. But I'm running and running and running, and I will finish the Marathon, and also this 8k.
Why, then, do I have butterflies?