Training for a marathon takes a sh*t ton of “get over yourself.”
Truthfully, I don’t care if you’re in training or you’re just trying to navigate LIFE — you’d better be able to laugh at your mistakes and choke down an a** load of proverbial salt. Admittedly, I’m no good at either, but these days I’m left with no choice. I’ve come to the conclusion that right about time you think you’re uber cool, on top of your game and/or have every last piece of your life figured the freak out… something or someone swoops in to remind you that you so freakin’ DON’T. (I eat a lot of humble pie.)
The pic up top? That’s my friend Alisha. She drove down from Wyoming this week to coach me in the pool. On the phone a few days prior, I was lamenting how I’ve been giving it the ole heave-ho in 250,000 gallons of water for months and I’m still slow as sh*t. (I also confessed to having terrible form and an adorable, yet outrageously ineffective swimming cap. But I’ll save THAT story for another day.)
Never one to let the grass grow, she zoomed into action.
She was in my driveway 5 hours later. We hit up Sports Authority for new goggles and caps. We sipped a few cocktails, hit the sack early and were pool side by 4:50 am the next morning.
Alisha taught me to KEEP my head down. Breathe out. Sh*t — breathe in! How to breathe every 2, 3 or 4 strokes. We tracked how long it takes me to swim 25 meters. Then 50. (Far, far too long.) The only thing left to do now is do the WORK.
Here’s where I had to get over myself: Being a marathoner does not equate to being a master of all things swimming. There is nothing SEXY about a Speedo swim cap or goggles. There is nothing hot about your ears sticking out from one end of the continent to the other. There’s nothing super cool about being seen in public w/o makeup. And I am equally sure there is nothing a.w.e.s.o.m.e about looking all around like a freakin’ Teletubby.
I had to get over myself (again!) later that morning when I met my physical therapist for the first time:
While I’m on Matt’s table chatting out all things IT Band, I take it upon myself to ask him a few burning questions:
Are you a runner? “Yes.”
Are you a marathoner? “Yes…17 or 18 times over.” (He’s running Chicago on the 13th — so if you see him say hey.)
Are you trying to qualify for Boston? “I’ve already run Boston.”
What’s your BEST time? He beamed… “2:17.”
An extra bit about Matt: In Chicago, he’s chasing a 2:15 so he can qualify for something or other with the freakin’ Olympics. Sweet Mother of Pearl. Talk about side swiping every last one of my excuses. Folks, many people don’t run a HALF in 2:17 — and with that time…he’s only 14 minutes behind the fastest marathon on record.
Right about the time you think you’re a bad a**… you realize there will always be someone faster, stronger, fitter, better and a little more bad a** than you.
In my humble opinion… that’s why you have to keep your eyes on your own damn game.
That, and learn to choke down a sh*t ton of “get over yourself.”
P.S. Have you ever had to “get over yourself?” Come on over and chat me up! www.Facebook.com/BrooksFirstMarathon.
P.P.S. HEY, HEY, HEY! There are only 13 days left to log your activity in my 90 Day No Excuses Challenge. One lucky winner gets a F*REE VIP Sole to Soul day with me in Denver — if you want it to be YOU — log your activity here! (You can join any time.)
P.P.S.S. Yep… it’s true. The story of my first marathon is now available on Amazon.com. Click here for the deets and to snag the awesome bonuses!