For those who don't know, Athena division is for females who weigh more than 150 lbs. The issue with this division is there is no height requirement, therefore you could have a 6-foot woman running at 155 lbs. At that height and weight that woman would be quite thin. Which to me doesn't even the running field as is intended (i.e., bigger people run slower), but whatever. I am 5'6" and I distinctly remember I weighed 157 - and was quite unhappy with that. It was the one and only time I've gotten my weight below 160 since my thyroid diagnosis, and I didn't appreciate it, because it wasn't quite good enough in my mind.
I was thinking about this last Saturday afternoon. I was supposed to have run that same quarter marathon that morning, but as I mentioned before the circumstances and timing turned out to be off due to the death of my mother-in-law. At the end of the afternoon, I sat down and started looking at Facebook and saw that the results of the race had been posted. I knew several people running to I went to see how they'd done, considering it had been raining and sleeting that morning. I really wanted to see how my 40-year-old friend who I was supposed to have run with had done, more specifically because she had registered as an Athena (she's one of the tall Athenas). In the past, I have felt jealous of her running capability, to the point where at one time I stopped looking at her running posts because I needed so badly to stop comparing myself to her AND comparing my former running self. Based on how I know she runs I was pretty sure she'd snag a prize in that division. Turns out she came in fourth and it seems she ran a bit slower than normal - maybe it was slick from the sleet? I haven't spoken with her yet so I'm not sure what happened.
In any case, I had this sort of lightbulb moment where I realized I've lived far too many years in a negative thought pattern - most everything about me personally is never quite good enough. To the point where at 48 years old when I ran that race and won that division beating women half my age, I never really appreciated it or accepted that I was a pretty good runner. Because I never thought I was fast enough, or thin enough truth be told.
I want to change that because I've also realized that at the age of 57, it's time to stop having regrets all the time. My life is more than half over at this point and wouldn't it be nice to just live in acceptance of what is and feel joyful about where I am, how my body functions, and the fact that I still attempt running - no matter the pace!
This got me thinking about things I wish for, and things I wish I could tell other young women. So, I wish...
- That I had enjoyed my daughter at each stage of her life more. That I had slowed down and not been so stressed all the time, thus making me miss some important stages in her life.
- That I had cleaned my house less, and played more.
- That I'd been better with money and thought about retirement in my twenties.
- That I appreciated my former running self and enjoyed it more instead of always stressing and trying to be faster.
- That I appreciated the lean muscle mass and agility I had when I was younger. I took it for granted and didn't nurture it.
- That I had started strength training when I was younger so that maybe I'd be stronger now - and more inclined to spend some time maintaining my strength.
- That I hadn't taken my metabolism for granted and that I had started eating healthier food consistently much earlier in life.
- That I had moved south and/or west when I had the chance.
- That I'd finished up college and chosen my profession, instead of just landing in the career field I've had and not enjoyed very much.
- That I'd followed more dreams and tried for fulfillment, instead of always feeling so responsible for everything that I always did what had to be done but never, ever looked towards what I really wanted.