My Declare It Day goal was to complete my 2nd half marathon. However, as running goals tend to do, it evolved into something much different. It was about redefining my definition of my blue flower.
Part way through my training, my daughter saw me clipping in my flower and said, “Mom, are ever going to buy a new blue flower?”. It was really an eye opening comment. I had never considered it. I took a close look at my blue flower. It was the same flower I had worn for 2 years and hundreds of miles. The rich blue had faded into a paler shade as a result of my many sunshine runs, the edges of the outer petals were frayed, threads were coming loose and draped themselves over the sparkly center, and the once firm petals were flimsy and bendable due to the exposure to the wind and rain the flower had been exposed to over the years. In all of these imperfections, I couldn’t imagine ordering a new blue flower. This flower told the story of my running journey. The imperfections were perfect. It was just like me. “Aware of my faults and loving myself anyway.” I was content with my “old” blue flower.
At that moment, my journey changed. I was truly connected to my goal, content with myself and connected to this challenge. And, it was a CHALLENGE. You see, this race had a time limit. Completing a half in 3 hours may not seem like a lofty goal for most, but for me it was a limit that had me shakin’ in my boots. This particular race finished down the stretch of the Cherry Festival Grand Royale Parade, a national festival that brought 10,000 visitors to a small northern Michigan town every year. Runners had to finish before the parade began. It was a firm deadline.
To make myself feel better, I looked up the race results from the previous year. There had to be others in my boat, I wouldn’t be alone. Other people had to be close to that deadline. But, there weren’t. All of the finishers completed the half the previous year in less than 2.5 hours. Apparently, people close to this deadline knew better than to sign up for this race. I have to admit, there was a fleeting moment that passed where I thought, “No one will think any less of you if you don’t do this race.” But then I realized I was wrong. I would. Bowing out would be denying my blue flower. And I wasn’t about to do that. I was content with this goal, proud of it, invested in it. Withdrawing was not an option.