An addiction, by definition, is not usually a healthy thing.
A healthy addiction can exist, but the very nature of the word ‘addiction’ connotes a situation in which the participant has no control over. You have no ability to stop, give up, change or move on over for a Higher Purpose.
In a few hours I will be driving to a race site, where tomorrow I will run a race. I will drive 4 hours to get there, bringing my husband (moral support, driver, keeper of children) and children (unwilling, but coming because there is no overnight babysitter at home). We will stay overnight, arriving late because I have to finish work and then start the driving, and I will run the race, which will take me (hopefully) less than an hour to complete. Then, I will pack everyone up again, and we will drive those same 4 hours home, so that the next day I can join my running group for our long run.
The race is my choice, my punishment (I’d rather train than race) and my perversion. The race is a 6km uphill ascent race, with an approximate elevation gain of 600m (2200ft). It is rugged, hilly (obviously, with an average grade of 18% – what does that even look like?), snowy, and has great views. I’m counting on the views to get me through this. Although I run hills weekly, I don’t summit mountains all that often. Maybe just tomorrow.
Runners just do it – they run for the finish line even if someone else has reached it first.
It was suggested by one of my running clinic buddies to go do this. She has access to accommodation where we could all flop and we would go run it as a group. Well, not as a group, but we would see each other in the crowd and then would be able to commiserate about it after the finish. Everyone was enthusiastic. And then life got in the way: weddings, holidays, in-laws, etc took precedent and we are now down to 3 runners. I, selfishly, thought that since that also freed up a lot of bed-space, I could bring my little troop along as well. Turns out my running girlfriend is also bringing her troop as well so there will be lots of company. Mostly, I want my husband to take some pictures (proof to myself that I actually get out and do this) and so I have a shoulder lest I need one to cry on at the finish line.
[Technically speaking, though, the finish line is at the top of the mountain and then you take the chair lift back down, so it will be a long cry or wait before I actually see his shoulders.]
I’m nervous and excited about this – which is basically the same thing. Can I do it? Will I finish? I know I will finish; the course is open for 2 hours so I can walk the whole way if need be. I’m wanting this to be a test of my fitness, but not a test of my ability to expire myself. If the hills are steep, I will hike. It will be a great training day, and a lot of hard fun. I enjoy it when it’s over but have to push myself and persevere to get it done. I’m in it for me, and for that huge sense of completion. It’s not just 6km; it’s a ski hill that we are running, uphill.
So this post is about thanking my supporters, my sponsors and my loves. They are all the same: my family. My family is great in supporting my addiction. I could go on my own and do this race. But I am feeling so much more comforted knowing that my gang will be there too. I can feel nervous, but there will be little faces to look at to inspire me. I want to show my kids that I can do this for me. This is a test for me, that I will pass no matter how I place or how long it takes me to complete. I will push myself, and I will enjoy the challenge. That even though I am scared, I can overcome that and finish and be proud of myself.
Famous last words!
*Do you have a challenge to overcome? Who do you call on for support? Do you have any healthy addictions?