When I was twenty-five I did something pretty stupid. I ran a marathon without training. Why, you may ask? My best friend Julie had found a List of Things to do Before I Die paper we had made as kids. She had listed compete in a pie eating contest, which she did. In fact she excelled at eating pie and won the contest. I hadn’t done anything on my list and was inspired by Julie (and my quarter-life crisis).
So I decided I wanted to run a marathon, but I didn’t have time to train. I also thought that if I didn’t run the marathon then I would never run one because I was getting too old and my running days were done, etc., etc., etc.,.
I know I’m training for a half marathon now and it’s not the same as a marathon, but I feel strong—stronger than I did when I was twenty-five. And I think I am in better running shape now than I was then. I know even more about the body which enables me to do helpful exercises and stretches to help keep my knees safe. (Note: I still don’t think I’m in better shape than I was between the ages of 18-20. I’m not delusional.)
I’m not at all bothered by the youthful stupidity that enabled me to register for and run a marathon without training. I appreciate that stupidity, but what I don’t like looking back at that time is my thinking that if I didn’t run a marathon then I would never do one. Now, five years later, I feel that if I don’t run a marathon it is a choice because I don’t want to commit to the demanding schedule it takes to properly train. However, I feel like if I took the time to train I could run it. I didn’t believe in that (or me) in the same when I was twenty-five. And in that I now see the error of my ways. And I’m hopeful that I can keep doing what I enjoy and get older at the same time. I can even get better at what I enjoy.
I am five years older, but also five years stronger.