Home » Ouch, my legs hurt

Ouch, my legs hurt

Or – what I learned while training for a half marathon.

Team in TrainingI wrote in December about having talked with Elaina about her running.  A month later and with some gentle encouragement, I found myself last Saturday in a room full of giddy people willing to put themselves out there to walk/run/cycle/swim/hike to raise money for Leukemia & Lymphoma research.  It was not a room full of hyper-fit 20 something athletes, although there were clearly some of those, but a number of people like myself for whom the years had encroached.

And we trained.  Not a lot, but enough that you knew your muscles had boldly gone where no muscles had recently been.  I didn’t sleep well that night because the lactic acid in my lower body kept calling out, “We’re having a party here, and we don’t want you to miss it!”

Yesterday it was raining and 38 degrees.  There was no room full of excited people shouting, “Go Team!,” but my training schedule said 30 minutes, so out I went.  Why?  I was in a purple and green bubble.  Kind of like a pink bubble, only with more spandex.  I had, as Elaina told me, experienced a Mary Kayesque induction into the group.  Here’s what I learned by diligent observation whilst hoping we had numerous bathroom breaks to offset the hydration:

Have a Why

OK, some of these are going to see obvious, but look at them with me through fresh eyes.  I don’t like running.  I’m not even that fond of walking, but I realized I needed some exercise accountability.  Was that strong enough to get me out the door in the very cold rain on Sunday.  Heck no!

The introductory speeches included a lymphoma survivor who talked about the difference TNT research had made in 7 years, between when her friend and she had been diagnosed.  Her friend had survived, but now lives with a paralysed lung from the treatments.  The speaker had her own set of challenges, but none quite as severe and she now does the triathalon option with the group.  She talked about the impact you will make on the lives of people you will never meet; the treatments you will help develop so that unknown persons get to watch their grandchildren.

The goodness of people will help jumpstart you.  I will have bodily pain because someone else benefits from my efforts.  In your Mary Kay business, women will lend you their face if only so you can develop the application and presentation skills you need to acquire to help you be successful.

Overcome Objections

I am reasonably certain I could walk the 13.1 miles of a half marathon today.  I wouldn’t like it.  I’d be absolutely wasted tomorrow, but I am sure I could do it.  What I would like to be able to do is breeze through it, but that requires commitment to training so the body is conditioned.  It requires going out in the rain when you’re already sore, to do what your coach told you had to be done.  He’s smarter than I am, so I’ll do it.

But how do I know I can?  Again, the survivor/speaker helped us on that count.  She told us about an incident in her therapy where she was given a new drug and it had to be administered by drip, rather than a push; it was 4 hours of sitting in the chair.  She was just starting her first session when pain flooded her chest and she couldn’t breathe.  Her sister called the staff who immediately stopped the drip.  It turned out she was allergic to the drug, but it was critical to her treatment.  What a dilemma!

In the end a compromise of sorts was reached.  They would give her the drug, but slowly enough she could tolerate it.  What had been a 4 hour drip was now 9 1/2 hours.  The kicker was, each breath was excruciatingly painful; she told us she spent each second of those 9 1/2 hours concentrating solely on taking the next breath.  She said it was like swallowing when you have strept throat.  It hurts to do it, but you have to, so you do.  Wow.  Who am I to complain about a little soreness in my legs?  She said her mantra for taking the painful breaths was, “Because I can.”

Overcoming objections is giving someone the confidence not to run a race today or to be a National Sales Director tomorrow, but to empower them to take the small steps they need to take over and over again.  Super overcoming means you are able to instill in them the ability to remind themselves, “Because I can,” without hand holding.

Bring on the bling

There are parts of this new undertaking I’m not excited about.  The training, the fund raising – all the major stuff.  What does get me excited, besides the unselfish motives, are the reward levels.  If I do [x], I get a jacket, for [x] I get a pin, and so on.  This was a revelation to me because I sort of figure with my Mary Kay business, I know how to do it, I get out there and do it and I don’t need another stretch bracelet to remind me I have done it.  Isn’t everyone like that?  What I forgot was, at the beginning it was important to me.  I needed the little goals to keep me going and the visual so other people could know I’d achieved.

There were über-athletes there, wearing the coach jerseys, who had lanyards sporting bazillions of achievement pins and others who had one or two.  I remembered how excited I had been over the trillion cut ring.  It was huge, gaudy jewelry, very unlike me, but important because it showed I had achieved.

Mary Kay taught that a woman will do more for recognition than anything else.  Recognize and promote, even if it’s no longer critical to you.

It’s all about the team

One of the training bits from Saturday was the admonition that as people ran by, or we overtook them, we were to greet each other with, “Go Team!”  Silly, but by the end of the training session, you found yourself high fiving people you didn’t know because we were in fact part of the same team.  It was so much easier to train with all those people than to do it by yourself the next day, but the reality of having an organization to which you belonged meant you were still supported, even on your lonely vigil exploring the Bellevue College campus.

We should never feel alone, whether we’re walking, selling face goop, having babies, raising teenagers, facing death or having dinner with our family.  In the very first book of the Bible, God said, “it is not good for man to be alone…” and he made a companion and helpmate.  


One Response to “Ouch, my legs hurt”

  1. […] of my “looking at the process of something new through fresh eyes.”  It began with tired legs, took a turn to the Spice Girls and now we wrap it up.  What do you do when things go […]

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