DNF

Remember that half-marathon I was in training to walk? That took place today, but I wasn’t there. My number will be recorded as DNF: Did Not Finish. Because I didn’t actually start.

Yeah, I know: Nothing to be proud of. But the fact is, I am not physically ready to walk 13.1 miles at one time, and I was not going to attempt it and end up hurting myself.

Sadly, my training schedule got derailed by a combination of too much time to put it off, abysmal local air quality because of forest fires for most of the summer, lack of a buddy to do the event with me, and too many personal and business distractions. What it always comes down to, of course, is lack of motivation, and I was not motivated by the idea of spending four or five hours (or more) alone in a crowd. It wasn’t the walking itself that was too hard to do. If I’m going to be alone, I want to be at home with my dogs getting something productive done, like mowing the lawns and doing laundry. I’m fine with being alone when I am alone. I am not fine being alone surrounded by hundreds (or thousands) of strangers all day.

When I signed up for the walk, my friend G. planned to do it with me. But she developed some very serious back problems and can’t do much of any kind of exercise anymore. If I were a more competitive person, I might have said “well, I’ll do this event for her, I’ll carry the flag for both of us!” But alas, I am more of a cooperator and a collaborator than a competitor. I wish we could have done it together, encouraging each other along the way. I feel so bad for her that she can’t run, can’t walk, can bike only a little, and is in pain most of every single day. She’s my age, trim and otherwise fit and way too young for this kind of disability. She handles the whole situation with a lot of grace, but it’s hard on her in so many ways. If I could give her my healthy back, I would because there are so many things she needs it for–to do her job (which requires her to stand all day), to keep up with her kids, to walk and run with her dogs, to dance with her husband. She needs it so much more than I do. As long as I can sit upright and type at the computer, I’m pretty much good to go.

But we each get what we get and just have to make the best of it, I guess. Some might say that I’m not doing the very best I can with the body I have because I’m not walking or running half-marathons, but I did get my yards mowed and my laundry all washed today. I moved a bunch of furniture around yesterday, and set up photo equipment. I also cleaned my house and cooked a wonderful dinner for myself and a friend tonight. I did what needed doing and was grateful for the physical wherewithal to be able to do it.

I’ll watch the calendar for the next local long-distance walking event and we’ll see what happens. Perhaps next time I will both start and finish.

 

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