Last weekend I ran a 5K.
Not a big deal, right?
I am the least athletic person I know, and if you asked me why I decided to run a race, I couldn’t possibly tell you. I don’t know what came over me. But it happened maybe a year ago. I put it on a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 25. I only did less than half of those things, I think, including not racing. But that list has been nagging me. Not because they’re essential things, or even things that would make me blissfully happy and self satisfied. More so that they were goals I did not achieve before I was 25.
About a month ago I decided that even though I’m 25, maybe I could think of it as a list to accomplish all the way up until I am no longer 25… and so I set out to finish the rest (or as much as possible) before I’m 26 in July.
I only trained a little, running a time or two a week for about two months. The week before the race I was sick and didn’t run at all. On race day I didn’t even get up until half an hour before the race to warm up, which was foolish. But I wasn’t really there to try and win. I just wanted to do it at all.
My time wasn’t as good as my training runs. I didn’t even manage to run the whole thing, but stopped and walked a spell because my blood sugar has been low and I was feeling light headed. But I did in fact cross the finish line, and I wasn’t even last. As a matter of fact, I got 3rd place for my age group! I don’t know how many were in the age group but there were 500+ runners so I’ve got to assume that wasn’t too bad of a stat.
I went home before awards were given, but that didn’t matter. I was hugely impressed that I’d managed to do this thing that required effort and that I didn’t even care about. But now there’s one less thing on my list, and that part I feel great about.
Will I ever run again? Sure. A race? No way. I’m into casual exercise that makes my body feel strong and useful, but I don’t need to run any more races.
Now I suppose I can go on to pursuing the next thing or two on my list, and I’ll be darned if I don’t get through most or all of it before July arrives.
There is just something glorious about checkmarks on a list. It’s time to get to add some more.