First things first: thank you everyone for all the kind comments on last week’s post! I still feel like I’m living in a crazy-wonderful-mind-blown dream state, and I have to remind myself constantly that I no longer have a boyfriend – I have a fiancé. It sounds so formal. Geez.
Right now a word that keeps coming to mind (maybe because I keep hearing it and reading it) is savor. Everyone says, “Embrace the fun of wedding planning, but don’t forget to pause and savor the engagement period. Savor the celebrating. Savor the love that’s the reason for it all.”
In other words, don’t go insane. On behalf of all brides-to-be, I am totally on board with that advice. And what’s a great way to not go insane? Not to mention a great way to savor life more?
You know the answer: running.
I signed up to run a 5k next month. I did this for two reasons: 1) Because of my New Year’s resolution to toe the starting line of a race again (I know a 5k doesn’t seem like a dramatic, glorious re-entry into racing, but it’s better than nothing); and 2) To hold myself accountable to running. Running to me is like a friend that I’ve had for a long, long time. I wouldn’t up and drop that friendship just because I’m getting married, so why would I drop running? As a matter of fact, it’s occurring to me as I write this that the wedding will fall just a week or two before my 20th running anniversary. Two big milestones.
Now that’s something to savor.
Actually, there’s a third reason that I signed up for the 5k: I have a finite number of races before I’m going to be registering for them with a different last name. Maybe it’s silly to care, but I’ve been registering as a Banks since I was 14! Bearing that name, I’ve run races of every distance from 800 meters to 26.2 miles, including whatever strange distance is covered in San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers. I’ve had ugly races, fun races, frustrating races, and races that made me cry with happiness.
I know without a doubt that I’ll run many memorable races with my new last name (I kinda think Shannon Sapp has a nice ring to it), but I will raise my hand up and admit it: I’m a little sad to let go of the old one.
I’m going to savor every drop of my last races as a Banks. I have a goal to run at least two by summertime.
I’m going to savor the fact that I’m engaged to a man who supports my running, and whose family feels the same way. They got me running clothes for Christmas – how cool is that?
I’m going to savor the fact that, with the ever-increasing popularity of running, there are races available just about any time of year for folks like me trying to get back on the racing wagon.
Most of all, though, I’m going to savor this: as I dive headfirst into wedding planning, that necessary pause, that reliable path back to sanity, is just a pair of running shoes away.