When I was a wee little gremlin my mother would read me fantastic bedtime stories that continue to impact me to this day. We would lay in bed together and we would read the many classics of Beatrix Potter and other stories that every child must read, like The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Strega Nona. Books are no longer valued as they were when I was a kid. Even then, in the world of Nintendo and Sega Genesis, books were losing their charm. Like music, books became my escape as a child, and through them I met some of the best people, and sometimes animals, that I have ever met. It was through many of these tales that I would learn deep rooted morals that have influenced adult choices I make today.
The Tortoise and the Hare taught me that it’s acceptable to take my time because slow and steady wins the race. I have applied this notion throughout my running endeavors and I have come to terms with my love for the jog over the run. I kept this in mind as I ran my first three miles – throwback Thursday to that day: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
The Giving Tree taught me quite a few lessons. When I was a child I walked away learning to never take advantage of anything in life, and to be appreciative of all that I have been given. Now that I re-read it as an adult I see more clearly that the boy was an asshole. Don’t be an asshole.
Corduroy taught me the importance of friendship and acceptance. Also, it’s OK to lose a button, you will still be loved, even with your imperfections.
The Velveteen Rabbit is a story of unconditional love. and magic.
“‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'”
Ah, memories. These are only a few that immediately came to mind as I sat down to write on this snowy day.
Last night, another perennial favorite came into my mind as I stepped onto the treadmill- The Little Engine that Could. My throat was slightly scratchy but I desperately wanted to run because I took a few days off due to my schedule. To run, or not to run? It became imperative that I run- I think I can.
I knew I needed some distraction so I brought trashy magazines to the gym, speaking of the importance of reading. Two magazines later and I had put in nearly 4 miles. What’s two more? I think I can. I listened to my breathing and I tried not to get into my head too much- it’s amazing how necessary that is in running. Once I’m in my head it’s over. Once I remind myself that I have double what I’ve done in order to run a half-marathon, I go into panic mode. I was determined to clear my brain and just kept thinking of that little engine chugging along, not quitting. And so I did what the engine would do. I ran two more miles, light on my feet, and the steady pace of 6.4 on the treadmill.
Last night I completed six miles- One year ago I couldn’t run one. On the day that my legs gave out and every step was painful I never imagined I would one day train for a half-marathon. I refuse to quit. In some ways I’ve always been like the little engine. I’ve never been the valedictorian of anything, but I’ve always had determination, and I’m OK with that.