The danger of venturing into uncharted waters is not nearly as dangerous as staying on shore, waiting for your boat to come in.” Charles F. Glassman
If you follow me on any other form of social media, then you already know that I had a birthday last week. A birthday is like a new year for me…. not really a time to make resolutions, but a time to reflect on what has happened over the last year, and what I hope to achieve in the coming year. It’s a time to check-in with myself, as well as a time to celebrate me. I am not at all shy about celebrating myself.
For the past few years, I’ve made sure to take my actual birthday off from work… I think I started that at 40. I usually plan out what I want to do in advance… what do I want to do during the day… what new restaurant do I want to try…. making reservations a couple of months in advance…. and also just starting to think about my goals for the upcoming year…..
This year, my husband started asking me at least a couple of months before if I had thought about where I want to go… what goals I have…. and I really had no answer. I told him that other than wanting to surf again during the day (an annual birthday surf tradition I started after surfing for the first time on my 41st birthday), I really didn’t know about the rest… dinner or general life.
During my birthday surf this year, the answer revealed itself. I use the term “surf” a little loosely…. there is me, a surfboard, a wetsuit, and a couple of times where I catch a short wave amid 100 falls. Every time I go “surfing,” I have such a great time …I promise myself that I’m going to make the time to do it more often, but I usually end up surfing just a couple more times in a summer. I thoroughly enjoy everything about surfing: carrying and paddling the board out a little, hurling my body on top of it, looking back at an approaching wave deciding if I may be able trying to catch it, the falls, the short ride …. I love every tumble and fall…. every time the saltwater flushes out my sinuses…. This year I was reminded that the reason I actually enjoy it so much is that I feel most alive when I’m attempting it because it exhausts me, makes me aware of all 5 of my senses, and pushes me out of my comfort zone.
I’m someone who has lived her entire life in the comfort zone. Taking risks… taking the path without a guarantee… has never been me. Becoming a runner is one of the first times I stepped out of my comfort zone…. committing to running a marathon when I wasn’t sure if I could do it… and the confidence from that carried into so many different aspects of my life, changing it for the better.
I realized after my birthday surf that I want to push myself out of my comfort zone again. I’m not as excited about the New York City Marathon this coming November as I was about running LA. I already know that if I put in the training and do those long miles, I’m going to be fine. I want to try new things…. try the aerial yoga class that I haven’t made the time for…. maybe actually try to swim in the ocean and see what that feels like before I dismiss triathlons as “something that doesn’t interest me”… I don’t want to try things that are risky, but I want to try things that are new…. things that I may very well go into knowing that the likelihood of “failing” by my old traditional definition is high…. Running has given me the gift of the confidence I needed to redefine “failure”… Now the only definition of failure that I know is failing to try anything that I’m in any way curious about.
Since we last sat together, I’ve been going to the track and working on speed some, I’ve been going to Orange Theory Fitness and actually enjoying the strength training and sprinting intervals on their treadmills. I did an official 10K just to have a baseline 10K time (58 minutes and 57 seconds post 5 hours of sleep and 3 glasses of wine), and then I’ve also just been doing my regular yoga and my 3 – 5 runs a week to maintain my 10 mile base as I start to build my mileage back up for NYC marathon in less than 4 months.
Interestingly, as I’ve spent more time at the track and Orange Theory for my runs, I’ve had less time to “meditate” on my runs….so I just also signed up for the free 21 day mediation from Chopra and Oprah thanks to a little reminder from Jake. My life has been so incredibly busy recently that I haven’t had time to sit down and think…. or to write…. and so while traditional meditation has never interested me before, I want to give this 21 day program a try…. If I stop it after 3 days I won’t have failed…. Failing would be being curious about it and not giving it a shot.
And lastly as for writing…. I haven’t been very inspired to write… Part of it is definitely just that I have been very busy…the more I have been living, the less time I’ve had for writing…. but I think that most of it is because since I started this blog in January of 2015, the story of how I have evolved because of running has been told…. but as I continue to evolve and reflect, I’m grateful for this little space that is public yet feels very intimate, where I can just put my thoughts down and share my life on the run.
****As I have less time to write, I do share more of my life on the run on my Instagram. Also, I wrote a piece for Women’s Running on the Orlando shooting that is more in the style of what I write on my blog and was definitely inspired writing that flowed out of me without thought, so if you didn’t read that, you would probably enjoy it: A Runner Shares Her Reaction To The Orlando Tragedy.