Why? Why does a 40-year-old, 162-pound woman care? Care about running fast, running far, setting goals, pushing her body that has already absorbed a healthy amount of miles and trials? I could deflect. I could laugh it off, I could reasonably tilt my head towards the four-year-old, the two-year-old, the marriage, the dog, the mental health, the house that, no matter how sternly I look at it, doesn’t clean itself. I could reasonably point to all of these, all of which humble me every day in all the ways, all all all. I could reasonably point to all of it, then tuck my watch far out of sight, and come up with creative new uses for safety pins. But that doesn’t interest me. “Reasonable” doesn’t mean “true.” What’s true to me is this: Effort doesn’t have an age or a weight. Nor does passion. Nor does curiosity. Nor does inspiration. I set my gaze on women close to my age who haven’t taken their passion for sports off the stove completely and put it in the refrigerator. Or worse, the trash can. I tell myself “I will keep at it.” I will keep trying, because the fact is it feels GOOD to try. I’m slower and heavier and breathier than 15 years ago, but my God, what’s the alternative? I will keep trying, because I want my daughters to see —- heck, I want everyone to see —- my effort. Because effort isn’t a dirty word.
Effort isn’t a dirty word.
And how I look, how I act in the midst of that effort? That’s not dirty either. It’s not shameful, or cringe-worthy. It’s not “lol DELETE.” It’s life, and it’s learning, and it’s grounding, and it’s enriching. It’s wonderful. Not everyone understands. Not everyone will understand. But that’s their reflection. Mirror, mirror: To me, today, you reflect light. And I’m grateful.