GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - I’m slow.
I’m slow getting up in the morning. I’m slow making friends. I’m slow finishing my dinner.
And as you have probably heard/seen me mention time and time again, I’m WALKING this 10k.
Which in and of itself has a weird vibe to it. Because everyone says things like “what day is your RUN?” “Which race are you running in?” “What’s your run team called?”
Running is faster than walking (in most cases) - but that’s not what makes me slow. Like, I’m slow among the walkers. It’s just kind of my natural disposition.
I don’t run under any circumstances - if a dog is chasing me, I’m laying down on the ground. Me and a group of friends taking a city by storm - I’m at the back of the pack. I wear a women’s size 10 ½ yet have an 18” stride.
So picture me with “athletes”... with people who walk regularly.
I’m the last one in every week when we go out. Even the other walkers have a significant lead time in comparison to me... but one of the things that I’ve learned while out there going from a struggling 3 miles to a decent 6 miles is that - I’m my only competition.
I hesitate even typing those words because they feel so cliche’.
I remember my very first “meet up” with Sole Sisters and Donna saying during her speech, “...it’s not about what other people do, it’s not about their time - how fast or slow you come in…” and I say there thinking “yea yea yea, that’s what everyone says, except that big ole clock that’s at the finish line of every race counting down to the millisecond via that nice little chip in your bid”.
Well here’s the truth of the matter. There are some people out there who are all crazy about times... they are also the same people that are crazy about method, technique, cadence, diet, gear and on and on…
And all of that stuff is great. In your time. If that works for you.
But the true “competition” is you. You of yester-year, you of yesterday, you of this morning when you didn’t want to crawl out of bed.
There are ladies in the Sole Sister’s that compete in Triathalons. That run on 7 continents in 7 days (so didn’t know that was a thing until I started with the Sole Sisters) ...and then there’s ME. Me who struggled in the last 5k I participated in. Me who even when I was “walking” on a regular basis still would get extremely winded if I had to do a couple of flights of stairs (you use different stuff to do stairs). It is also me, who in my yesteryear could dance for 4 hours straight in 4” heels at the club.
So, because times aren’t motivating to me (at this stage), I don’t use times to motivate me. I get out there and FINISH. That’s my motivation. Doing something I’ve never done before. Doing something I wasn’t sure I could do, or hadn’t even toyed with the possibility of doing. Not being exhausted at the first aid station is exciting to me, because that wasn’t the case the first time I went out.
Being this way also allows me not to beat myself up if I DONT go as far as I can, or if I even don’t go out. I’ve learned to respect my body, and to LISTEN to it. I quickly learned this isn’t something you can get in and stay in if you’re doing it for someone else….it involves too much of who you are as a whole, your total being. Sonja is getting out there each time, striving to be the best Sonja she can be….and isn’t that really the way that we want to live life as a whole.