2017 let’s see what you got.
We are almost a full week into the New Year and I am still trying to process what all happened last year. Controversies, running peaks and valleys, new friendships, failed relationships, bridges built, bridges burned, love gained and loved ones lost. Usually by now I have assessed the good, the bad and the ugly and have set out my plans, goals, and challenges for the next 12 months. 12 months… note I didn’t say “season” or “training cycle”. There is more to life than qualifying periods and race times.
Record holder, Olympian, national champion, feminist, role model… titles, accolades and labels that others use to identify me. Yes, I have used the same terms too… but in reality, in my day to day life, that’s not how I necessarily self-identify.
I was told once that I am a good runner. A good writer. And a good beer drinker. By someone who claimed they knew me deeply. I think that description is medium at best. Besides, I am an excellent beer drinker, a hard worker, a thesaurus and spell check user.
If someone asked me to describe myself or rank the titles that I deem important, my actual list would be quite different. My justification for certain things I have done or accomplished would be vastly different than the assumptions (good or bad) others have made.
I am a sister. Little and big. And it is probably the role I identify deepest with.
I am an aunt. And all that matters to me in this world is the legacy I leave behind for them… not you.
I am a friend.
I am a university and law school grad. The first in my family to go to university.
I am a lawyer. I’ve loved the law for as long as I can remember. Maybe it’s because of my stubbornly naïve belief that everyone is equal under the law. I’ve learned this is true in theory… not necessarily true in practice.
I am a nerd.
I am a runner. Not a pro or an elite. Not a record holder. Not an Olympian. Just a runner. I was running long before anyone knew of me and I’ll be running (I hope) long after I am forgotten.
I am an advocate. I will argue for you, myself, an altruistic cause, or a self-serving cause with the same ferocity. But just because I argue against you doesn’t mean I do not respect you.
I am opinionated. I am open minded. The two are NOT mutually exclusive.
I am an athlete. I suck at skilled sports. My coordination is terrible on a good day. Team sports intimidate me. But I love moving my body. I love putting in hard work and the feeling of pain and exhaustion that comes after a hard session. I hate being bad at something but love learning how to be better.
I am a hater of all double standards.
I am a huge fan of happy mediums.
I am a sarcastic jerk… but hilarious in my own mind.
I am pragmatic with my caring.
I am not afraid to be wrong... and I’m sure that happens more often than not.
I am not nice but I try hard to never be mean. And if I am, I apologize full-heartedly and genuinely.
I am a shit disturber… but usually only after you have disturbed my shit.
I am not your role model. I never asked to be. I do not intend to be abrasive or ungrateful in stating that… but it is the truth.
I am not perfect. I love that we all are perfectly imperfect.
I was asked by iRun if I’d like to write a “Q & A” column. Not just about running; I am not a running expert. I am not a life expert either. But, like many of us, I have experienced times when my passion – running- and my life have worked together and times when they have worked against each other. Although I am uncertain of how this will all go, I am usually someone who says “yes” to these types of opportunities... you never know when you will learn something new or what an interaction can do to help shape your next 12 months.
“Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of
Wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
Painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it's worth”
So here you go folks. Send in your questions about training, racing, work/life balance etc. I do not pretend or promise to have all of the answers, but I’ll give it my best shot.
Questions bring discussion and I believe discussion is healthy.