Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Goal Like No Other...

I'm a writer. I set my goals according to queries, deadlines, proposals and completed manuscripts. In my writing and in my corporate management life I'm an overachiever, but in the department of physical activity, I've been a little squishy on laying out a plan. I'm a great goal-setter, but I'm a terrible goal-finisher. So, I've learned over the years to lay low on setting goals that have anything to do with exercise. That plan was fine until earlier this week when I was faced with a pair of nine-year-old deep blue eyes and a plea that was, quite frankly, a little bit unreasonable.

Our family had been talking about the pending spring months and all the outdoor activities that would fill up the weekends. (Yes, with 100 inches of snow on the ground, we Wisconsinites are still hopeful that day will happen soon...but it's not looking too good yet!) Noah started talking about the two 2K races that he runs in May...one in Door County...the other in Stoughton. Jeff, a long-time runner, has always been the most obvious choice to assist Noah in his training. Two years ago, they began a rigorous schedule, and breathless Noah crossed the finish line two weeks in a row. Noah got a bright idea this week that this exercise should now become a family sport. I threw up my arms and shouted, "Count me out!" And then I looked deep in his eyes to see I wasn't going to win this battle. "Mom, aren't you going to run with me and dad this year?" And I froze! How do you say no to that? So, I said yes and then regretted my decision for the next three days.

Let's take a step back and recall that I am not a runner nor do I have a desire to be. I tried to run one day in high school. The scar on my hip is proof that was a bad idea! I do a lot of things, but running is not one of them. HOWEVER, as I can see my 40th birthday rounding the corner later this year, I'm starting to notice that my youthfulness is packin' up and leavin' town.. For that reason alone...and of course for my 9-year-old...I'm setting a goal like no other in my life and I'm ready to push way beyond my limits.

I'm on a weekly plan to train for a 5K should I want to go that far. Seriously, that would be stupid. I'm hanging back with the 9-year-olds and will only be competing in the 2K. Translated to American measurement...that's only 1.242 miles. For beginners, you say? That's exactly my point. At 39-years old, I'm a beginner and I'm completely freaked out about this, but I'm setting a goal with hopes of accomplishing it in 10 weeks. On May 10, the day before Mother's Day, I'm running in the Blossom Run in Egg Harbor (Door County). Come hell or high water, I will be there with my son, running by his side -- most likely panting a lot harder than him and sweating through my new sporty running clothes.

I cordially invite you to stand at the finish line and watch me crawl across before passing out on the damp grass.

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