This peppy song is a part of my 5K playlist. I don't listen to this playlist unless I am running, and we ran a 5K on Saturday so it came up.
It is one of those songs that gets me moving, and it's set at a time during 5Ks when I am not at the start and not at the end, and the runners have spread out and sometimes I wonder what the heck it is I am doing there, and why I do a dozen of these every year. This year, it was even more meaningful, as this was our first race since the tragedy at the Marathon.
It was a charity event, for PKU awareness. www.necpad.org/
If you've ever read the fine print on a sweetener packet, you've likely seen the phrase: phenylketonurics: contains phenylalanine. That's a substance that these folks can't metabolize. Intaking it will (eventually, as it builds up over time) kill them. It is a genetic disorder. I don't know anyone who has it. But it's of course an area where people could use support, so we ran.
And I heard that song, as I was huffing along, and had the same old conversation in my head -
Why are you doing this?
Wouldn't you rather spend your Saturday sleeping in?
Or, better yet, going out for brunch?
Pancakes sound nice.
You haven't had pancakes in a while.
Ooohh ... pancakes.
And then I remind myself that, if I am ever going to see a pancake again, I still need to finish the race. So I continue plodding along.
This time, I found myself getting bad fatigue and shin pain when I could see the finish. And that's always ironic - I like to pour it on at the end, and my body was telling me not to.
And then I remembered that there are people who, 2 weeks ago, lost their ability to run or even walk or stand, without help.
So I said, what the hell and I ran anyway.
My hips hurt today, 2 days later. My shins are on and off wonky. Advil is only working sporadically.
But I don't care.
We spend so much of our lives trying to avoid pain. And it is normal and natural to do that. After all, even the tiniest of animals will move away from negative stimuli. It seems foolish, unless you're some sort of masochist (and I am not, in case you were wondering), to go in the direction of pain, and do things, repeatedly, that hurt. Repeatedly.
But as I think about this, and I grab another pair of Advil, I am again reminded that I have shins at all.
So who the hell cares if they hurt a little?
I feel both joy and pain today.
But I feel more joy than I do pain.
Come join me for joy and pain this Saturday. It'll be my 40th 5K. :)