Thank you to GORE-TEX for sponsoring today’s conversation and for the new Brooks running shoes. This post contains affiliate links.
First – what exactly is GORE-TEX? Well, it’s a super-durable fabric – it’s waterproof, windproof, breathable, and engineered to last for a long time. Even if you’ve never heard of it, chances are some of your favorite brands use it. GORE-TEX is used in jackets, clothing, gloves, hats, and even in shoes – like the waterproof liners in my beautiful new Brooks Ghost 9 GTX® Shoes:
They’re waterproof, pink, and fit like a glove. Yes, please.
GORE-TEX is hosting a huge giveaway event with weekly prizes and an amazing grand prize. To enter, they want to hear how you #OwnTheRun. I’ll talk more about that in a minute (but if you can’t wait, click HERE for details).
In anticipation of the giveaway event, GORE-TEX invited a handful of bloggers, myself included, to talk about conquering excuses and what we do to “own the run.” This is a challenging topic for me, since I’ve been unable to run (due to back injury, surgery, and recovery) for about 10 months now. I mean, how do I “own” something I can’t even do?
I’ve been giving this a lot of thought…and I’m learning that my feelings about running are, well, complicated. In the grand scheme of things, I was a runner for a very short period of time – my running career spanned only 4 of my 42 years of life. But in those 4 years, I accomplished a lot. I went from being a non-runner to a 2 time marathon finisher. I ran probably a dozen other races, including a bunch of half marathons. And perhaps most importantly, I practiced the discipline required to train for a sport – which was a big deal for a non-athlete like me.
Running was woven into the fabric of my everyday life. And more than anything, running became part of my identity. I am a wife, a mom, a blogger, and a runner.
But I can’t run. Which begs the question – am I still a runner?
Well, the truth is – I don’t know.
My surgeon is optimistic that I’ll be able to run again. From our first consultation, he predicted that I’d make a complete recovery – including a return to running.
My recovery has gone very well so far, and all signs indicate that my surgeon was right – that given enough time, I will return to my pre-surgery, pre-spondy self.
Several members of my spondylolisthesis support group have successfully returned to running post-fusion.
I’m in good health, and I’ve stayed fit & active despite not running for the last 10 months.
So, it would seem, the odds are in my favor that someday I’ll be able to run again.
If I dig deep and listen verrry carefully…there is a little voice asking whether I WANT to run again.
There. I said it.
Running is hard. It takes work and discipline and training. It requires sacrifice. When I first had to stop running, it left empty spaces in my life. But in time, I’ve filled those spaces with other things – things that I’ve grown to love, things that have become part of my identity, just like running once did. If/when I start running again, I’ll have to make room in my life for it. I’ll have to make sacrifices. Will I have to give up sleeping until 8:00 on a Saturday morning? Walking on the beach? Yoga? Family time?
Do I even want to?
The truth is – and this is hard to admit – I just don’t know. If and when I’m physically ready to run, I don’t know if I’ll be up for the mental challenge. I don’t know if I’ll be willing to make the same sacrifices I once did. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to conquer my ego and start from scratch. I loved running. Have I fallen out of love with it?
But here’s the thing. I don’t need to know right now. My body isn’t ready to run. I still have time. Time to heal, time to think, time to keep an open mind. Time to just let things be for now.
And that, friends, is how I plan to #OwnTheRun – by not giving up on it. Not now, and maybe not ever. I own my run simply by being a runner.
Okay. Now for the giveaway stuff. From now until 11/8/16, GORE-TEX is giving away a pair of running shoes with waterproof GORE-TEX liners every week – and one grand prize winner will get a new pair of shoes PLUS running shorts, running pants, a jacket, headphones, and more!
Entering is easy. Just go to www.gore-tex.com/owntherun and share what you will overcome to #OwnTheRun. If you want (just for fun), share your answers in the comments too – because I love you, and also because I’m a little nosy. Go enter now. Good luck!!!