So growing up, I was definitely more brains that muscle but somewhere deep deep deep in my soul I knew I had an athletic side stuck in the scrawny, mullet head, valedictorian body. I do not come from a family of athletes (perhaps mathletes yes) but athletic ability was not in my genes at least on the outside. But even in middle school and high school, I knew I had some sort of athletic ability I just needed to hone and develop.
I didn't let that stop me. Over many many years, I started working out a lot. It all started in college. I had put on my freshman 15 and it was time to stop worrying about boys, school and my next chemical engineering exam. I started running a lot. I started lifting weights a lot. I started working out to make myself happy, to figure out my life and it changed how I saw myself.
And about 12-13 years ago, when I moved to Dallas, something strange was happening. I started placing in my age group. A couple of times I placed in the top 3 and I even won a race once locally. And this was me - no one who grew up with me would have believed it. I hardly believed it myself. I even came within a couple of minutes of qualifying for the Boston Marathon.
But then my kids arrived and the time I spent exercising was spent now on them. My body took a while to recover from them. I never was as fast as I once was and there were times I beat myself over that.
So this year, I decided I would do a half marathon. It has been well over 5 years since I did one - before my youngest was born. This time I did it with minimal amounts of training but it was a beautiful race. I finished. And while it is no where close to my PR, it was exciting to be an example to my children to see me at the finish and greet me with their hugs and smiles.
And more than anything, I realize my goals as I approach 40 are not what they once were when I was 30. My priorities has changed. I no longer live to race on Saturdays or train. I have other more important little ones in my life. But I do know I won't be waiting another 5 years before I run a half marathon again. And I cannot wait.