I recently did my first 5k of 2016. It has been a year since my last one and I have done little to stay in shape so I had to start over. That's the way it seems to go at 51, like they say - if you don't use it you lose it. Well I lost it big time. It was tough getting back in the groove. I signed up for a run/walk clinic because I know almost no one around here, and certainly no one to walk with and my husband and I are on completely different schedules. It turns out it was the best thing I could have done.
I have always been a bit of a loner. Basic social skills I get, have those, but the intricacies of female friendships, especially groups, have always left me a bit befuddled. When I was younger I could just hang with the guys but as a 51 year old, married grandmother (MiMi - because grandmother sounds sooo old) I can't do that so much. I have been trying to cultivate some female friends but I swear, I need a guidebook, I am so not good at it. But I'm trying.
Run/Walk clinic meets two days a week and you get a third walk or run in on your own on an off day. I set off to do this thing. Did I mention its a women's deal? I mean some women bring their husbands, probably women like me who feel totally inadequate when dealing with other females, but mostly it is just women. We go for 10 weeks, adding distance each week. That first week, that one mile, it was brutal! The culmination of the 10 weeks hard work is a huge 5k event where women from all over the state who have been attending clinics come together and slay the 3+ miles.
The big day arrives, I'm pumped, ready to do my 19 minute mile with gusto (no snickering, I'm just getting started). I have, to my credit, managed to find three other women who are at roughly the same pace and I have managed not to piss them off yet. Of course there is still time. So we head off at the start and we are all hanging pretty close together but you know, walking and running are personal sports and people are gonna wanna get their best time, and the group starts to disseminate. You can guess who's last...One by one I see my peeps take off, determined and fiery, these gals are giving it all they have. As we see the finish line in all its glory looming in the distance, beckoning us with its promise of personal victory, honor, and pride my girls are 50, 30, 20 feet ahead of me.
And it happens. That magical moment when you forget all the reasons you can't and you begin to envision all the reasons you CAN! And what pops into my head? Dirty Dancing? Huh? Yep! P. Swayze - in Technicolor - "No one puts baby in the corner". And just like that, I had my mantra. I started repeating it over and over. I determined in my mind that come hell or high-water (one of those cute southern phrases) I was going to leave it all out there on the city streets. I started to pour it on. I was almost in tears as I crossed the finish line with "No one puts baby in the corner" rolling on replay through my head. I caught them, just barely at the finish line. It was a beautiful moment. It was my happiest moment in a very long time.
The kicker? When I was repeating my mantra it wasn't me telling those women, "No one puts baby in the corner", it was me telling me. It was active healthy Kimberly shouting down, the other Kimberly, the one who has been down, sad, and feeling old. I was telling me, enough is enough.
It was me telling every bad circumstance, bad boss, every thing that ever made me question myself, back off - you can't have me, control me, use up the good in me.
Now a month after the 5k I have two more 5ks planned. I have a half marathon relay planned for the fall. I am trying out different times and groups and trying to find my people and my place to keep walking maybe running a little. I am trying to plug in with people who are serious about keeping it going. I made a board in my garage for my future medals...
When I am out there on the road, clocking those miles, I can hold back or give it my all. It's up to me.
No one puts baby in the corner... unless she lets them.
That's all ~ Thanks Y'all!