Members of Team SJS just minutes before the start of the 2010 Fox Cities Half Marathon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

This is My Life!

So last Saturday was what I consider to be my  last "long" run before the Surf City Half.  I have 10 miles scheduled for this weekend's long run, but that distance no longer seems daunting to me.  I have run 13 miles two weeks in a row.  One week was with my husband and dog with light layers and no snow to be found, the second was a solo run with plenty of snow and ice and included frozen water bottles.  Both times made me feel as though I were more than ready to knock this one out of the park!

Last week, while I was struggling to hurdle snow banks, trying to keep my fingers and face warm, and prayed that my Yak Traks would get me home safely, I tuned into a song that was blaring in my ears through my headphones.  I run to music when I'm alone and so many times I have found inspiration from it.  The lyrics maybe or the beat of the bass drum or the riff of a guitar solo.  Music moves me, plain and simple.  But at this point, 8 miles in on a very cold and probably the toughest training run of my measly career, I heard something a little different.  It wasn't a song about inspiration or motivation.  It wasn't a song with a hip hop beat and fast tempo.  It wasn't even a more recent song, no this one has been around for awhile.

I heard the singer start out saying that "Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead."'  I found myself nodding thinking that I used to have more wrinkles, but those were lost with my illness.  Lucky me! "Yesterday is a promise that you've broken. Don't Close your eyes, don't close your eyes."   "...And today is all you've got now. Yeah, and today is all you'll ever have.  This is  your life, are you who you want to be?"  I felt the cold from the barely 20 degree temperatures reach through my many layers and goose bumps formed on my skin.  I felt a shiver ripple through my body and realized it wasn't the fact that I was wet, cold and in pain that made me shiver.  Instead it was the fact that I was hearing what Switchfoot was trying to convey.  Was I who I wanted to be?

My head began to flip through the scrapbook in my mind.  Flashes of my kids, husband, parents, and my big brother came and went.  Pictures of my book club, my co workers, my SJS and running friends.  Then memories from my first 5k after beating the odds.  My first half marathon and last year's disappointing performance.  An ugly confrontation with another Survivor about Team SJS and his belief that athletic events such as the Fox Cities Half/Full marathon are inappropriate for Stevens Johnson's Survivors.  His belief that I am not doing enough and that my focus should be on "Big Pharma."  It all crossed my mind and then I thought about what I was trying to accomplish on this cold day.

"Yesterday is a kid in the corner.  Yesterday is dead and over.  Don't close your eyes...This is your life, are you who you want to be?"  I felt a smile creep across my face and I heard myself say out loud, "Yeah...I think I am."  Quickly looking up to see who may possibly be around to hear me talking to myself with a stupid smile across my face, I realized I was completely alone.  Which actually made me think about how crazy I might actually be!  There wasn't another runner around as far as I could see!

I thought again about all of the things I have done in my life.  All of the mistakes I have made, and trust me there are some big ones, the trust I have given to people who never deserved it and the pain I felt from their betrayals. My own desperate actions that have affected the ones I love and my process to make those things right again. The choices I have made to overcome my physical and emotional obstacles left behind from the illness that nearly took my life, but I wouldn't let it, and the incredible people I have now chosen to surround myself with that make me a better person just being who they are.   Yes, this is MY life and I'm who I want to be!!  The good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, I'll take it all.

So how about it? Are you who you wanna be??

1 comment:

  1. Kendra you are amazing and the way you write is so engaging! As I was reading this post i felt like I was there. Have fun knocking it out of the park in 11 days!!!