Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For all the ladies

Someone said something to me the other day that I can’t stop thinking about.

While I was at a party on Friday night, one of my friends made a passing remark that really struck me. It was just a statement that she made, but when she said it, I thought to myself how perfectly it describes how she lives her life.

What she said was, “Life is short.

It’s so simple, and it’s been said so many times before, but when I heard her say it, it really meant something to me.

She’s the perfect example of living your life to the fullest during every moment you are given. The best way I could describe her is that she really is the life of the party. She’s always cracking jokes, always has a beautiful smile on her face, and is a person who lights up the room when she walks in.

I was thinking about her, and what she said to me, and that in general, I get my strength from women. Whether it is a family member, friend, someone I’ve just met, or someone I’ve encountered only in passing, women are the people who inspire me. I’ve never met a woman that I didn’t find something about her that I wanted to emulate. I’m not trying to say that there aren’t men out there who don’t inspire me. That’s certainly not true. Maybe it’s just that while growing up, I had such a close relationship with the women in my family, that now that I’m older, women are the ones that truly make an impression on me.

I thought about my friend throughout the weekend and before my 10k race on Sunday. I did a lot this past weekend, so when I woke up the morning of the race, legs feeling tired and achy, I was considering not running.

The race was divided into 8 categories, based on one’s expected finish time. My race was supposed to be at 4:30 pm, but I knew lots of people that were running at 11:00. Since the race was near my house, I decided to head out there early to cheer on the runners in the other races and possibly take some pictures.

About 10 minutes before the start of the 11:00 race, I was sitting in the grass, chatting with someone, when one of the race directors came over to me. He explained that my race time had been changed from 4:30 to the race that was just about to start. I thought to myself, oh no, do I really want to do this?

The first thing that came to my mind was my friend’s comment, life is short. As I get older, it’s all the things I didn’t do in the past that I regret. After a couple of seconds of thought, I decided to run the race anyway, so what if I wasn’t going to be able to warm up. Luckily I had dressed in running clothes, so I did have the option of running the race. I stripped off my jacket, strapped my chip to my ankle, and tied my hair back, just like a superhero changing in a telephone booth. Within a couple of minutes, the race had started and I took off with the pack.

My legs felt tired when I was running, I mean really tired. I had done too much in the few days before the race, and I was paying the price. My legs were screaming at me pretty much the entire time. It was like my left leg was yelling “Why did you stay out until 4:00 in the morning on Friday night?” and my right leg was yelling “Why did you go have beers last night when you should have been at home resting?” and I couldn’t get them to be quiet.

Once I start something, I really don’t like to quit, but I was hurting and I needed help to get me through the race. What I did at this point is what I usually do when I’m feeling down or depressed or like I need someone to lend me just a little bit of their strength. I thought about my friend and I also thought about all the women that have touched my life and what I admire about them: their courage, their energy, their poise.

With this in mind, I finished the race, completely and utterly spent, but glad I did it.

Thank you to all the ladies out there for what you do, for being you. Your efforts do not go unnoticed. Whether you know it or not, you inspire me, and I hope to do the same for you in return.

1 comment:

Susan said...

"...and the lady became a woman". You make the world a better place, Jennifer. Don't every stop giving us your Heart.