I Ran A Marathon; I Can Do This

By: Martianne Stanger

As spring hits and some organized friends talk about the spring cleaning they are about to attack, I sit here looking at piles, boxes, and bags.  A room of clutter.

I know if I open my door, I will enjoy a reprieve of clutter-free space before entering another room of to-do’s yet to be done.   I could get discouraged about the fact that I cannot even begin to imagine seasonal cleaning before I make a dent on purging, but I do not.

Why?  Because I have a plan in place for tackling every area on our home, a vision for how things will look (and I will feel!) once I do and a history that proves the once-unfathomable can come to fruition!

Lessons from Running

You see, more than a decade ago, when I was living in Japan, a local friend asked me to register for our town’s newly organized triathlon.  She explained that, if I registered, they could call the triathlon an international one and invite prestigious racers from all over the world to come.

I told her that I’d love to help, but that I was a slow runner, had not swum much in years and was useless on a bike.   My friend was one ahead of me though – she’d organized a relay option.  I could choose just one part of the triathlon to participate in and she’d set me up with friends with whom to train and a team to compete with.

How could I refuse?

So it was that I completed the running leg in an international triathlon that year and continued on to enjoy both running and swimming legs in future years.  I also ended up doing some 5k’s, 10k’s and, due to some translation issues with a different running friend of mine, an even longer race one day, which I was in no way prepared for.

That day was a turning point for me.  For after my sore muscles and chafed, sunburn skin healed, the race itself still affected me.  I had not known I was about to run such a long course, and would have never imagined I could.  But somehow I completed, largely with thanks to the strong encouragement of my friend, who chanted in his very limited English, “o-kay, o-kay, my pace, my pace.”

In fact, that friend not only encouraged me to finish the race, but also slowed the race organizers down as they were about to pull up the finish line, so I could enjoy the satisfaction of crossing it.  I may been the last individual to do so, but that did not matter. I had reached the end-goal.

Well, you know what folks say – an end is just a beginning.  After finishing that race, and looking back at the relay portions of the triathlons and other races I had done, a desire to run a marathon was born in me.  So, soon after returning to the United States, I drafted my brother into helping me make my marathon dream a reality.

Using a fabulous book called The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer, my brother and I bonded once more as siblings over long weekend runs.  We acted as one another’s cheerleaders and check-ins.  We stood – or rather – ran by one another, mile after mile, until I experienced one of the greatest personal successes of my life:  finishing the Cape Cod Marathon!  (And, because I did so with a commitment to the training outlined in the book, I could walk relatively ache-free in the days afterward.)

Had anyone told me in my early 20’s that I would not only want to run a marathon one day, but would also actually do it, I would have laughed them right out of my presence.  Likewise, had anyone after I had met my marathon goal a decade or so ago that I could not conquer any goal I set out to meet, I would have simply smiled and nodded, dismissing that naysayer’s opinion.  For, after running a marathon, I felt like I could do anything I set my mind and body to.

In-Training for A Clutter-Free Home

Granted, in the years since I crossed the finish line of the Cape Cod Marathon, running has taken a back seat to other life pursuits, and I have not always sustained utmost confidence in my ability to do anything I set my mind to.  In fact, in recent years I have even submitted to a defeatist attitude when it comes to being the homemaker I seek to be.

Not anymore!

Today, as I look forward, I also look back.   I recall how I never imagined I could run a marathon, yet did, and recognize that I imagined for years that I could be a decent homemaker and can be!   I think, if I could run a marathon, I can certainly get my home in order!

At “my-pace, my-pace,” I have begun to.  With my husband as a committed partner, a plan we have laid out as our trainer and a vision of victory as a motivator, I am on my way…

I am confident that a less-cluttered home is possible.  Sure, just like when I trained for my marathon, I will need to make time for my goal, sometimes forcing myself to take step after step, even when I feel tired or unmotivated.  As I do, undoubtedly, there will be times when confidence flags and I will need my partner’s encouragement.  Likewise, if I am to reach the finish line in decent condition, I will have to honor my trainer and trust that by following daily steps in the plan, I will meet the final goal with a smile, not inordinate soreness.

Anyone want to join me?  Anyone else have the urge to purge for a more manageable home?  I’d love to know there’s an entire team of us working toward this goal!

This entry was posted in Activities, Brockton, Martianne Stanger, Mommy Advice, Parenting Advice and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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