Thursday, May 20, 2010

Walking along, singing a song, side by....OUCH!

Many times over the last couple of weeks I have sat down with my trusty laptop to pound out a post for all of you. Just as many times, I have gotten to the point of putting my fingers on the keys and then stopped. I've been struggling lately with whether or not I wanted to continue blogging here. This is not because anyone has said or done anything, although I do get the occasional email from an anonymous source that makes me question myself..and I hate that. Mostly it has to do with me. I was wondering what, if anything, I was contributing to the world by sitting behind my computer and blathering on about parts of my life.

The answer is simple. Nothing.

I'm not making money doing this, I'm not contributing the economy, I'm not dishing out advice or talking people off ledges. I'm just me.

So I've spent the last couple of weeks thinking very hard about it all. The truth is, I DO want to continue. What I decided is that I really could give a flying monkey's hairy arse if my writing is contributing to anything. This is my blog, my space, my thoughts, my....therapy? Rather than bitching at my husband when he comes home after a long day, I can put it out into the blog world for all to bounce opinions back at me. When I feel like the spawnlets are turning into life sucking leeches, I can visit all your blogs and see that it's not just me.

This isn't one of those posts where I want to hear "Oh Mad Woman...don't leave us, what would we do without you". Because duh...that's a given. I know you all worship the ground I walk on and would perish without me. I mean, I'm surprised many of you are still in existence after the last couple of weeks without me.

This is just me, letting you know where my head has been at the last couple weeks.

So. On with the show.

I went for a walk.

Exciting right? How about some more excitement. I went for a walk with my sister. Say it with me...Ooohhhh, Aaaahhhh. Yeah I know. Terribly thrilling.

Back in December, my Weight Watchers leader brought up the subject of a half marathon that one of the local wineries was sponsoring. Some bright spark in the meeting decided that sounded like a fun idea for people from the meeting to sign up for and managed to con a whole bunch of folks into doing it. That brainiac went home right after the meeting and registered online. That genius may or may not have been me. I'm just sayin'.

So, having registered for the WALK category (cos I'm not stupid y'all, I know that running that far would be a death sentence for me), I had a look at the training schedules they had up on their website. After I'd picked my jaw up off the floor and propped it on the table, I took a few deep breaths and repeated the mantra "I can do this, I can do this, I'm gonna need a shit load of wine when I'm done, I can do this".

Do you guys know how far a half marathon is? 21 kilometres. Just over 13 miles. Or, in my terms....hella fucking far.

Time to rephrase the mantra: "I can do this, I can do this, Screw the wine..there better be a big ass bottle of vodka at the end, I can do this".

The training schedule was great. Go for a walk at varying speeds and distances every few days, slowly building it up until the week of the event. Cool....done!

Yeah right. 5 weeks in, I tossed it and never did it again. Sure, I was still walking but I couldn't be bothered with their schedule. Seemed like a supremely wimpy waste of time to me. Hahahahahahaha!

Fast forward to the beginning of this month where I was crapping my pants in the most spectacular way because I'd begun to realise that walking 21 kilometres was going to be hard? By the day of the event I was in peril of running out of clean underwear from my nervousness but I was determined to prevail.

I strapped on my walking shoes, made sure I had my bag with bandaids, pain killers and sun screen, and headed off to collect my mom and sister. Oh, did I not mention that part? Yeah, I'm not completely stupid. I recruited them to walk it with me. On my mother's birthday. (insert maniacal laughter here)

Having arrived at the event, there was hundreds of people milling about. The runners were already off, the hybrid category was just listening to their briefing and I was ready to go hide. Surely I wasn't about to do this! But I stayed, listened to my briefing...and off we went.

We were at the back of the pack when we started and pretty much stayed there. There were people of all ages from 16 to 80 something. There was a woman with a walking stick and a woman as big as me (if not bigger). We set off at a steady pace and I was determined to stay at that pace for as much of the walk as possible.

By the halfway mark of 10.55 kms, my mom's feet were killing her. When we got to the 11 km checkpoint, my sister and I talked and told my mom to drop out. She'd made it over half way, she was in pain, and it was her birthday. I felt bad for her, because I knew she'd feel like a quitter, but there was NO way she could keep going.

LilSis and I carried on. We spent a lot of time walking through areas like, with views just like this:

Most of the walk was through vineyards and along the river. It was beautiful. We were blessed with a fantastically grey and overcast day and a low temperature. It was perfect.

By the 17 km mark I was in pain. A lot of it. I have a bone spur in the heel of my left foot and in addition to that, have had issues with that ankle since I sprained it badly about 8 years ago. But even with all the pain, as I passed the 17 km mark and the guy there said "hey you look like you're about to keel over and I really don't feel like carrying your fat ass outta here, do you want to quit?" (ok, I'm sue me), I was all "Hell no! Why the hell would I quit 4 kms from the finish?! Asshat." And I kept going.

I made it. I made it through all 21kms (the last 3 seemed to take forever), and I made it alive. Barely. And, I did it with my little sister by my side for the whole thing. That, I think, was more important to me in the end than the fact that I had just walked that far. She's 11 years my junior and we're finally getting to the point where we can do a lot of stuff together. I love it.

That's me and my sister crossing the finish line. I burst into tears about 2 minutes later, just from sheer relief. Check out the guy in the orange vest behind us, checking out my sister's ass. Cheeky bugger.

So this walk scared me but in the end I came away proud.

Here's my question for you:

What have YOU done lately that has scared you?

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  1. Well done on completing the walk :) . I'm glad you're still blogging (even though you didn't want to hear that ;) ) you contributed today by giving me something to smile at (hope you chugged down that vodka! You deserved it)

  2. I might have to answer this question on my blog for Mailbag Monday! I'll have to think about what REALLY has scared me! Mine will most likely be diet-related!

    Way to go on finishing the walk!

  3. Congratulations! Every year I briefly consider training for our local mini-marathon, and every year I chicken out. Well done!

  4. Firstly, you could not leave because I would find you. Secondly - I SIGNED UP FOR DERBY LAST NIGHT! Yep, scary (that and my buttocks, thighs, calves, back, stomache, arms, etc are all screaming in agony after a 2 hour training session = painful agony).

  5. A year or so ago after I ran 6.4 miles, which was a huge deal to me and very scary, I remember bursting into tears the moment I saw RP after the race!
    Scaring myself lately? The fact that I am now 2/3 done with my master's...yet there is still so much to be done!

  6. Congrats on finishing the race - a fantastic achievement! You mean they weren't serving wine at the finish line? What's up with that?

    I held a live alligator today. Does that count as scary?

  7. Thats awesome! Its great that you finished and did it with your lil sis!! And I love the picture.

    I havent done anything that has scared me lately.......... I may have to fix that.

  8. I am so proud of you for finishing this. It takes so much mental strength to do it! I think you look fantastic too! Such a pretty woman! Wow! I'm impressed!

  9. I'm super inspired by your ability to "walk through your fear". Literally. I need to hear that right now as I begin a new job that has me feeling like a frightened child. Congrats for finishing that half marathon gal!

    I totally feel like we're on the same wavelength as far as what you mentioned in the beginning of your post about what blogging means to you and why you do it. Sometimes we forget why we started writing in the first place - for ourselves, to release and move on.

    Keep writing and I will too :)

  10. You. Are. Awesome. Congrats!

    A friend tried to get me to sign up for a 5K & I wouldn't. I'm pathetic. :(


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