I have loved every second of being a member of the Mamavation Sistahood. I had the pleasure of getting to know this amazing group of women through the Twitter Parties with @Bookieboo where they playfully called me Twitter Oprah (a pair of Earth Shoes for you, and for you, and for you!!!) and patiently waited for me to realize on my own that I needed to actually join Mamavation.
When I announced that I was pledging the sistahood, they rallied around me on Twitter and here at Resourceful Mommy, guiding me to nutritional information and tools, exercise ideas, and even inspiring me to start the Couch to 5K program. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth revisiting – I never dreamed that I would be a runner. But somehow everything came together at the right time and suddenly I was running at least three times a week and registered with my friend Ashley to run the Halloween 5K at Walt Disney World next month.
It seemed to be contagious. A couple of weeks into the training program, I began to get daily tweets, direct message, Facebook wall posts, emails, blog comments telling me that I was inspiring other people to run. Over and over again I heard that people who used to run were now running again, people who had dropped out of the Couch to 5K program had restarted, people who – like me – never dreamed they could run were suddenly running and loving it. On Twitter, people started to tweet to me in the #running tag. Two people asked me to include them in my plans for future races, so together we set a goal of a sprint triathlon next August. I even received daily updates from people telling me that they just went for a run and thought of me.
They thought of me. They associated me with running.
Just today a local friend posted on my Facebook wall that it wasn’t easy, but that she had just run 2 miles. She wanted me to know. I couldn’t bring myself to comment back because I felt like a fraud. I haven’t run since last Wednesday when I discovered that I had injured myself running. The fact is that I cannot run until I see a doctor next week, and it is likely that at that time I’ll be told that I should never run again. I am still going to the Halloween 5K and plan to walk the course with my friends who have vowed to walk every step of it with me if that’s what it takes. It will most likely be my first and last 5K.
I am not a quitter. I am not a person who starts something and does not finish it. While seeing myself as a runner was beyond belief two months ago, forcing myself to stop mid-stream is even more jarring.
And I have no idea how to unring this bell. How do you announce to tens of thousands of people that no, in fact, you are not going to run across that finish line? How do you take it all back, disassociate yourself, stop inspiring?
While I wait to hear whatever the verdict is that the doctor hands down, I walk. I walk often and I walk far. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I listen to music and smile. Sometimes I have to curl my toes to not break into a jog.
How do I take the next step and not feel like I’ve failed so many people?