Sunday, September 20, 2009

Running Vicariously

Last weekend I stood near the finish line cheering on my best friend as she crossed the finish line on her first 5K. I had the camera, and Deuce and I had maracas and we cheered our hearts out for her as she came in just under 30 minutes, her goal time.

That should have been me. I should have been out there with her, panting, sweating and victorious.

The frustrating part is that this time I actually intended to do it, and I tried until I just couldn't take the pain from the heel spur/plantar faciitis any more. I freely admit that in the past I quit. I quit exercising as soon as it got hard, or I got bored, or had something better to do, or wanted to sleep in. But this one time, when I was really committed, something took me out of the game before I was really in it.

But you know what? That wasn't me. It was her, and she worked her butt off to accomplish this. And I was so happy and proud when she crossed that finish line. I had G2 and nutrigrain bars packed, took pictures of her and her running partner, and gave her all the sweaty hugs that I know she needed after putting her all into something.

I felt so much excitement and pride at her accomplishment that I forgot all about the fact that I was on the sidelines. Her happiness adds to my life and does not diminish it.

That's the thing about having a 14-year friendship with someone - you share their joy and pain. In this case I had only the joy and none of the sore muscles, so it really worked out for everyone.

Next year, maybe next year that will be me. Until that time comes though, I will keep cheering for my friend, keep healing, keep dreaming.

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