As a recovering Queen of I'm Gonna, I registered for my first 5K today. I was toying with the idea of doing one when my C25K training ends at the end of August. Toying = fearfully considering! I mean - just because I did the training somewhat anonymously on the streets of my little town doesn't mean I am ready to do a real 5K with real runners and a painfully real audience. That's a big whoop you know.
But as God's timing would have it, I happened by a digital billboard on Friday night on I95 South in Philadelphia. It is one of the ones that flashes alternating advertisements for sporting events, liquor, Tastykakes and the like. It just so happened that I saw it when the NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition) had an advertisement for a 5K on 9/10/11. I knew when I saw this I absolutely had to do it, despite my fear. I also feel it is no accident that my training in the 10 week program will have just ended about 2 weeks prior to this race. Convenient timing right?
Then there's the meaningfulness of the whole ordeal. My dear friend at work lost her mom to Ovarian Cancer several years back. I realized that if I endeavored to follow through with, it had to be for a personal cause like that. I told my friend yesterday that I planned to do it, which "makes it real" according to another wise friend of mine. Once you let the cat out of the bag and blab around what you are planning, everyone is hopelessly covered in cat hair, so to speak. Another friend similarly advised me that if you make a fanfare about the fact that you are doing a race, it makes you more likely to follow through lest you appear a big fat liar. Being big and fat is one thing, but a liar - that's just not OK.
Having the expectations of other people pressing on you is sometimes very helpful, and very necessary to complete a task that we would otherwise hem and haw over. When we privately make promises to ourselves, they often go unfulfilled because of our own lack of discipline, paralyzing fear or sheer laziness. In this case, I need the people around me to be expecting something to happen so that I am more likely to muster the moxie to do it.
For the record, I ordered an XL T-shirt for the race (snugly my current size), which is about 6 weeks away. I am hoping to be swimming in it when I run in September. My wish is for the spectators to question the floppy sloppy sack of a shirt that this accidental athlete dons when she passes by, not quite fleet of foot, but not quite a bumbling disaster either.
Alas, I continue to stumble forward into my awkwardly beautiful season of change. :-)