At first glance 345 is a big number. It’s a lot of something. It’s a lot of anything. Lottery tickets, days in a year, gray hair, pimples, hangovers, consecutive starts in a football game, consecutive nights your kid keeps you awake … 345. It’s big sometimes.
But when I realized that I finished 345 out of 1309 in my Warrior Dash age group for chicks, I didn’t think … damn there were 344 chicks who were better than me that day. 344 chicks who ran faster, climbed stronger, or crawled better in the mud than me and my 48:01 finish.
No, that’s not what went through my mind. I thought, today I ran better than 964 chicks.
964 costume-wearing, 50+ triathlon-racing badasses were not faster than 48:01. And even though it is not a record time, the 48:01 performance became a personal record. My first Warrior Dash, but definitely not my last.
And it felt good. Even though it would have been nice to have a running partner, it still felt good to accomplish something as awesome as the Warrior Dash. I patted myself on the back.
Anytime you put genuine effort into something – an event, art, a class, a relationship –there is a lesson, small or large, the lesson is there. Sometimes you don’t see it. Sometimes you don’t want to see it. Other times the aha- moment or the oh-crap-moment is so obvious that it slaps you in the face. The Warrior Dash happened to be one of those times.
Little and big accomplishments matter. These personal victories triumph over the nagging voices or dirty looks of the day. The 345 gives you a reason to smile when everything else goes wrong. It gives you something to clutch at, something that fuels you. It gives you a medal in order to remind you that you survived this bad-ass race and you’re a bad-ass for doing it.
345 gives you much needed bad-ass moments.
I realized that even though I am a mother of two and feel worn-out, run down, and weary every night, there is always time for me, at least thirty minutes a day for The Guat. 30 minutes of exercise. I have to work harder at it than most people in order to get those thirty minutes. But eventually I’ve got ‘em and I don’t let them go to waste.
This 30-minute escape every day contributed to my Warrior Dash Saga and the adrenaline-rushing elation I felt when I ran across the finish line. I might have been drenched in sweat from running 3.1 miles of rocky, hilly terrain. I might have been exhausted from conquering the Chaotic Crossover, Deadman’s Drop or Cargo Climb. I might have been ready to drop to my knees after the Capsized Catamaran. I might have been soaked in mud from crawling under barbed wire, but I kept pushing and accomplished my goal and that made me happy.
Being reminded of accomplishments should make you happy, because everyone has an off day. So you need to remember your “bad-assness” and what you did to get there.
I learned that if I want something, I’ll make time for it, no matter what. I’ll find time, because in the end I know the end result of it all will be valuable. This is what the Warrior Dash Saga taught me. Well … maybe I already knew all that, but perhaps the Warrior Dash reminded me. So if I need to workout in the middle of the night, so be it.
Finish lines are important. Finish lines are valuable.
345 is valuable.