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In second grade, we all had to participate in the presidential physical fitness test in gym class. Now I am very determined or as some might describe me, stubborn. So of course, I wanted this award. So one overcast cold day, we all went outside to run the mile. I had on my knockoff keds, because I didn't own athletic sneakers. I was very coordinated child. I rode a bike at 3, without training wheels and was in dance, but sports, sports I was completely uninterested in sports, and all sports that involve balls to this day. They leave left-handed me looking like the biggest spaz.
We started to run and I can still remember breathing the cold air in and out of my lungs as I raced my classmates. I came in first. Me? I might have been the most surprised by this. One boy walked up to me and informed me that "I would have beat you, but I did not have my right shoes on today." My first introduction to what happens with the male ego's when a female kicks their ass. I not only beat the entire class, but as a second grader, I was the fastest girl in the entire elementary school, and thus began my running career.
I took being an athletic runner very serious. My body to me was an amazing tool that I used to excel. I competed a lot over the years. I was not the best, but I did very well and much of my identity was in my running. When I would psyche myself out mentally, I knew I needed to condition my thoughts. When my body quit on me on the height of my performance ability, I went through a very hard time. I always find my way back to running though. This long history lesson was to bring you to the point of my blog, and why what I am about to share affected me so much.
I had a dream the other night.
I had a dream I was competing in a 4X4 relay race. For those of you not familiar with track and field, what that means is there are 4 teammates and each member runs around the track for one lap (400 meters), so 4 times around the 400 meter track. I used to run this race. It was the shortest distance I competed in...
I am standing on the track. The crowd is huge. I look down and I notice the track is like a gymnasium floor and I think to myself this is odd, but I don't have much time to focus, because there is a lot of commotion and everyone is staggering into position to start, except they are all facing the wrong way, and I can't figure out why they are planning on running the track clockwise, because you always run counterclockwise on a track. I am nervous. I haven't run in forever. Why am I the lead? That is the position you give to the second fastest team member. You want to start off a race with a nice lead; it encourages your other team members. These thoughts are racing through my head faster than I could ever run if I wanted to. Someone hands me a slippery blue metal cylinder. Oh, the baton. "Hold on to the baton." they shout. Yes, most important part of the relay, do not drop the baton. Switching off is essential to speed and not disqualifying. With a sweaty fist I grab onto that baton with all of my might. Someone shouts over a megaphone "all runners please turn around, and assume starting position." I think to myself "finally someone around here knows what they are doing." Then the nerves take over. That feeling before a race that I haven't felt in years. Too late to keep focusing because the starting pistol is fired, and I am off.
Only something is wrong.
I am slipping all over the place. What is going on? I can't get a grip. I look down. I hadn't noticed before because I was too distracted by the odd gymnasium floor like track. I have nothing on but socks.
I can't keep up with the other runners.
I am struggling. I am frustrated and so infuriated with these socks.
I know there is no way in hell I forgot my spikes. I know I did not put these socks on like this.
I am sliding and making little progress.
I start to hop and try to take off my socks, and run at the same time, all while holding on to the baton, with a death like grip. I get a sock to slide off. A coach is on the side, yelling at me encouraging me "DON'T GIVE UP. YOU CAN DO THIS. GET THE SOCKS OFF AND KEEP GOING"
I am grabbing and pulling at these socks with everything I have. Everything I am. I am determined for this to happen. I get the socks off and I start running as fast as I can and I am barefoot. I am pounding into the ground. The other runners are far ahead of me, but I am angry and I am on fire, and I wake up..
Lying in bed yesterday morning, I was flooded with so many different emotions; grief, frustration, disappointment, sadness.
They were on my mind all day yesterday.
Those socks symbolize so many things for me. I have been working on finishing things lately. It is part of my revamp 2015 project that I have not had the chance to share with you all yet because I have been so busy working on it. Those socks are a huge symbolism for my health issues: I did not put them there, but I am doing everything to rip them off, and run barefoot and free.
What are your socks?