change, life, love

Safety and Accountability in Numbers

Consistent runs have been out of my workout repertoire for a long while.  I can blame bad joint genetics but we all know some wimping out has a little to do with it.  I started a new workout plan this week and today’s active prescription was interval running.  Ewww.  I can run a little, no biggie.  But sprinting?  Hell no.

Even when I was in my prime, my “sprint” was a tad faster than everybody else’s jog.  Now that I’m getting closer to the mid-30s I don’t even remember what a prime feels like.  I’m pretty sure my body will hate me if I try to get it moving faster than my usual turtle pace.

Sticking to plans is important to me so I knew I had to get out there and pound the pavement at some point today.  When I woke up, I peeked warily out the blinds. Cold, dark and wet.  That didn’t help motivate me.  A freak cold front was probably coming.  I’m sure rain mixed with hail would be on the forecast.  I put on some warm running gear hoping the inspiration would come from the cozy stretchy fabric.  Didn’t work.

Maybe lacing up my running shoes would get me out the door, but then I saw a whole sink of dirty dishes that were begging to be cleaned up.  I checked email and social media to delay even more.  An extra chapter in my book helped put off the run even longer.

I finally  looked back out the window to survey the disastrous environmental conditions.  Dang.  The sun was shining, the day was clear.  I couldn’t put it off any longer.  I stepped out my front door to a warm and breezy morning.  Not too hot, not too cold.  Perfect running conditions.

Starting was the hardest part.  My body wasn’t used to this consistent heart and lung beating.  Eventually I got into a groove and was able to enjoy the fresh air.

At one point I was struggling up a hill when another runner passed me.  As I entered into the active resting part of that interval, I saw her trek up the road at an impressive pace.  After a few more intervals I ended up catching back up with her and passing her on the last stretch of a sprint.  Both of us had our earbuds in so I tried to give her a wide berth as I passed.  My precautions failed because I totally freaked her out.  I smiled and tried to let her know I wasn’t a ferocious attacker.  I apologized for the scare and we both laughed.  She mentioned that this little incident made her realize how unsafe and unaware she was running alone with her music going.

We started talking a little and she ended up doing my last interval with me.  The conversation kept going into our cooldown.  She was spunky, beautiful and welcoming.  We ended up talking about kids, living in our cute little town and workouts.  Just by looking at her I would have never guessed she just celebrated her 50th birthday and had a kid almost ready to graduate college.

We parted ways when we got to her neighborhood, but not before exchanging numbers and sending promises of future runs.  Us ladies need to stick together on those lonely paths.  There is safety and accountability in numbers.

As I walked home I pondered about that fact.  There IS safety and accountability in numbers and it doesn’t just have to do with running.  I know when women get together, cat fights and drama ensue.  Sometimes it’s deliberate and out in the open, but other times it’s in the way we approach a situation or debrief after the fact.  I wish it didn’t have to be that way.  Us kindreds need to stick together.  Actually, even if we don’t all sync up together, we should at least come from a position of loving respect.  Down with the lady drama already!  We tend to either beat each other up, or beat ourselves up.  Even if we don’t agree or come from different backgrounds or hold beliefs in various ideas, that shouldn’t weaken us.  Those can be our strengths, if we let them.

How do we change that?  I want the unity, even in diversity, but how do we accomplish it?

What if we used this blog right here to create and practice unity?  My hope is that even though we are immersed in a world where competition and power struggles rule, we can escape from that here.  We can practice our togetherness and support each other, even when disagreements arise.  I would hope that through practice we can help the unity spread beyond the blogosphere.

What do you think?  Do you see a need for this?  How can we make it happen here?  How can we make it happen in our everyday lives?

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