By Amanda Scherle

I Can't Run

By Amanda Scherle Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:05 pm

I can’t run.
 
Seriously. I know I’m a mess.
 
I know how these blogs are supposed to work. I’m supposed to document my every move, every up and down, with the expectation that it will all end on an up-cycle to encourage all of my readers.
 
I’m not feeling it.
 
I ran a 5K a couple of weeks ago. You know how people who finish races are always saying things like, “I just want to finish” or “I just want a PB” (as it turns out, PB stands for personal best, not a shortened form of Pabst Blue Ribbon)? It’s some sickly sweet running version of “I don’t care if it’s a girl or a boy, I just want a healthy baby.” When in truth, they’ve used the centrifugal spinney thingy to ensure a bundle of pink.
 
I kinda hate that. Especially when I really didn’t care, but recorded the worst race time of my entire existence. Worse than the once-a-year, one-mile slow jog around the middle school gym wherein I barely passed the out-of-breath walkers, my newly developed hips waddling like fish-bloated ducks.
 
It was bad.
 
Worse still, I went with a truly competitive friend whose personal best was half the time of my Personal Worst. (PW might stand for Pro Whiner. Not sure. No one but me seems to use that terminology. Optimistic eggheads.)
 
When I signed up for the race, I had the idea that I might write an entry about one of the best ways to prepare for a challenging race: Running other less challenging races. It’s supposedly a good way to quell nerves, gain confidence, and maintain motivation. After I ran the race, I thought, “Why the heck do I keep signing up for these things?”
 
Then I went home and signed up for another one.
 
I hate losing to myself. That’s the worst feeling in the world. Losing to others isn’t fun, but I do it often enough, and there are so many people in this world that it seems wise and important to just accept losing. Losing to myself, on the other hand. That’s just humiliating. There’s no one alive who is Me-er than Me. So there shouldn’t be a Me alive who is faster than Me. 
 
Or is there? Turns out that race was a definite facedown moment for me. And yet, running it accomplished for me everything that achieving a PB would have (but perhaps not all that a PBR would have): Calmed my nerves about running, gave me confidence that I could never do that poorly again (unless I didn’t run at all), and boosted my motivation through the roof. 
 
It really isn’t whether you win or lose, but how you play the game that matters. And it seems that even when you play really badly, you can still gain something. 
 
Maybe I can’t run, but I’m not going to let that stop me. I’m running against Me, and there’s no way I can be slower than that!
 
How about you? What do you do in spite of yourself (and perhaps to spite yourself)?
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