Guest blog: Pain Is Temporary, Quitting Last Forever

Well – I am at an utter loss for words. One of my favorite friends, Meg – the “Meg” I’ve mentioned a couple times on this here blog before, agreed to write a guest blog post for me awhile back, and I kind of left it open – sort of “whenever the thought strikes you” kind of thing. Her timing is impeccable – I must say. I am traveling for work through the rest of the week and, sadly, won’t have time for much blogging fun, and lo and behold – her guest post landed in my inbox while en route to Houston today.

And – as I’m finally sitting down to read it in my hotel room, I’m utterly stunned by how honest, real, and incredibly passionate her words are.

For context – Meg is one of a few friends who has agreed to go on this “Wicked Half” journey with me this fall – something I’m equal parts excited and scared witless about! Her story follows – and let me tell you – Meg is one hot chick, and her words have inspired me beyond belief.

Without further ado – her version of “Why I run:”

Just some simple facts of who I am:  long-time reader, first time guest blogger,  blue-eyed, light brown hair, 5’4”, super cute, 31 year old Boston/Irish/Catholic, large and nosy family, sarcasm is my native language, Risk/Compliance officer at my work (read that as a Narc), adore beer, hate drama, shockingly single, 18 months post gastric bypass patient (down 122 lbs as of Monday) and training for my first half marathon which is in 4.5 months.

On New Year’s Eve, in a moment of weakness (PS I was the designated driver and wasn’t drinking), I agreed to complete a half-marathon.  “Why” you ask?  I decided this is the year I am going to live dangerously; this is the year to ask why not; this is the year I run.

I have done a few triathlons in my life, even prior to surgery, and I completed them but I didn’t compete in them.  Don’t get me wrong – I was in no way a threat to the elite athletes in the race – but I didn’t challenge myself to do well, I only challenged myself to finish.  Each time I was near the back of the pack, sometimes the final finisher; but as always, there were cheering family, friends, and strangers for the chubby girl coming in last.

No. More.

Running is the most painful activity, physically and emotionally, that I do.  To be honest, surgery and recovery were easier.  I struggle through it with every single step.  On Tuesday, I had a setback where I only could get a half mile in before my legs just quit responding to my brain.  And it sucked.  It sucked BIG TIME.  And there it was: standing on the treadmill, breathing hard, and pouring sweat, was my very first glimpse of who I was versus who I want to be.

Do I want to be a quitter?  No.  Do I want to be the person who just shows up?  No.  Do I want to be the person who just completes life, instead of someone who challenges it and truly enjoys it?  NO!  These 13.1 miles are so much more than 13.1 miles for me.  There is 30 years of change being poured into them.  Unhappiness, extra weight, and a lifetime of passive existence are being left behind on this 13.1 mile course. Change is not easy.  It is very much like running:  you have to swallow your pride, suck up the pain, and keep going. Because I cannot not keep going.

So, as I train and as each step is a leg burning, lung seizing, soul destroying display of resolve, I only need to remind myself of how far I have come and how much farther I need to go.  The pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.