Today kicks off the 100 days of summer challenge, which I am optimistically embarking on. I am challenging myself to 30 minutes of purposeful activity a day for the next 100 days. 20 laps in the pool, breast and freestyle taught me two things: first, my form is terrible and my college swim instructor would be terribly upset if she was watching, and second, salt water pools rock. How did I not know that the pool at my apartment was salt water? And heated? If only it was olympic sized, it would be HEAVEN.
This all started last night. I had a dream about swimming laps in a pool, which I haven't done regularly for 2 years (almost to the day). I had a few outings last year, but my aquatic fitness has really gone by the wayside. I love to swim but have never considered myself a swimmer. Someday I would like to change that, just like how I changed the whole "runner" thing. In my dream, it was perfect, gliding through the water for thousands of yards. Every part of me felt good. I knew I had to get in a pool today, and I am glad I did. I hope I can find time to do it more.
I confess, I haven't been exercising at all for the past 3 weeks (I am shamed, hence the lack of blogging). I have been using every ounce of energy just to get through my daily routine. I have worried that I will never run again (not likely) and be stuck in this funk forever. My batteries have needed a major recharge. Big changes are coming my way: I will be moving back to Southern California soon to look for work. The district has laid off so many teachers I have given up hope of being reinstated. The private school was a dream job, except the salary was not high enough for me to pay off my student loans and afford to buy my weekly ramen allotment. I am taking this as an opportunity to return to my roots and have a fresh start. I have been deeply homesick and I am very excited to be able to see my family again on a regular basis instead of just on the major holidays. I had a great training routine last summer, doing speed work on the middle school track and long runs with killer hills. Most of all, my family is looking forward to having me as their personal chef, which makes me feel incredibly special and excited to try out some new ideas on them, including another round of sorbets and ice creams. Everybody needs something that makes them feel incredibly special!
Which brings us back around to the title of this post. I consider myself a mediocre runner who runs slow miles and has yet to finish a marathon without having to take walk breaks in the last 8 miles. Despite the fact I know that there are so many better runners out there, running still makes me feel special. Being a runner attracted my first celebrity follower on Twitter (Bart Yasso), which was the highlight of my month. Running coaches re-tweeting and responding to my tweets makes me feel like a million bucks. Making friends at races and feeling like their insider follower on twitter makes running relationships magical. But what makes me feel the most special, the most important, is friends and family who have experienced my tortoise-like approach while waiting hours at the finish that make me feel special by bragging about accomplishments for me and always cheering me on like I am Kara Goucher or something.
I'll close with a senior quote from a student in the dance department, which I think really hits on why life is bringing me back home:
"We're not here to impress those who judge us, we're here to make those who will never judge us proud"