Moms RUN San Jose

For Moms who run, by Moms who run…Moms RUN this Town!

Becoming Brave

on September 11, 2012

Yes – B is the 2nd letter of the alphabet!

It’s taken me a while to write this post, even though I’ve had the idea (and the title) for a while. I don’t usually think of myself as being brave.  I’ve reserved that word for soldiers, police officers, fire fighters (actually, anyone in emergency services), and explorers.  And on this, the eve of the 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I don’t want to take lightly those who are truly Brave.  These are the ones who run towards danger instead of away from it, risking their lives to save others – those people exhibit true Bravery.

But for the sake of this blog post, please allow me to continue with this “becoming brave” – with a little b – theme.

A Google search revealed this:

brave/brāv/

Adjective:
Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage.
Noun:
People who are ready to face and endure danger or pain.
Verb:
Endure or face (unpleasant conditions or behavior) without showing fear: “we had to brave the heat”.
Synonyms:
adjective.  courageous – gallant – valiant – bold – plucky – valorous
verb.  defy – dare – challenge – face – beard

As a runner, I can definitely say that I have been “ready to face and endure pain”.  Just ask anyone who just started a C25K program.  Or someone who is following a training plan and sees that their long run for the week is in the double digits.

Although the word “ready” can be subjective.  Are we ever “ready” to face unpleasant conditions?  Especially ones that we may not know the exact nature of what they may be?

Being a mother is like this.  Sure you can read all the “What to expect” books, but you never really know what being in labor would be like or what having a c-section would be like.  You never really know what pain and joy you will endure – that you are willing to endure for the rest of your life – when that little person is placed in your arms for the 1st time.  Being a parent requires bravery to love despite hurts, to set limits, to be a good example of what it means to be a contributing member to our society.  It takes courage to be a good parent.

Being a runner requires courage as well, but in a different form since self-discipline is often harder to enforce than discipling others.  (Yes, I am talking about myself and how I would tell the kids no cookie butter before dinner than sneak a spoonful myself.  I’ve confessed but I don’t know if I am really repentant…)

I went out for my first double digit run 2 weeks ago.  I met with two lovely ladies from the San Jose Moms RUN this Town  at 6 AM to run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail, following the “Dammit Run” route and then over to Vasona Lake Park.  We hadn’t run this route before and started off excited to finally break the double digits (our goal was 10-11 miles that day).  That excitement wore off when we  got to the hills part – not because the hills were steep (which they were) but because of a sign that read:

Ok – this wasn’t the exact sign we saw. The one we saw had more words. I think the pictures on this sign sums it up nicely, though! This isn’t the kind of kitty you want to run into at 6:30 AM.

Did we run back to our cars?  Nope! We ran up that hill, making as much noise as we could to ward of any mountain lions, then ran down the hill and completed our 11 miles on relatively flat ground.  My legs were burning and I did walk quite a bit (I don’t know who had the great idea to do hills AND a long run! Junella!) but, I did it. I overcame that double digit barrier. I faced and endured pain and danger without showing fear.  In fact, we laughed at fear, we laughed at doubt, we laughed at pain, and we laughed loudly to make sure that mountain lion would stay away from us.

So, this is becoming brave with a little “b”.  I am not running into battle or a burning building, but I am running towards a place where my fears are – the fear of failure, the fear of getting hurt (physically, emotionally, mentally), the fear of realizing that I am not the person, the runner, the mother, who I thought I was.  Every time I run through these fears, I become a little braver, the doubt becomes less, the fear loses its hold.

Running becomes fun.

If you’ve laced up a sneaker after not running for years, or never running in your life, you are becoming brave.

If you’ve run 1 mile, you are becoming brave.

If you have run 11 miles, you are becoming brave.

If you have run 25 miles, you are becoming brave.

If you have run, then bike and/or swim, you are becoming brave.

If you sign up for a race, you are becoming brave.

If you cross the finish line, you are becoming brave.

If you commit to a person, to a child, to a cause, to yourself, you are becoming brave.

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3 responses to “Becoming Brave

  1. Brittany says:

    I love this post..it is so inspiring! Thank you. Running my second 5k tomorrow! Wish me luck 😉
    http://www.livelearnlove.net

  2. […] I first thought about a blog post for the letter C (which of course comes after A and B), I was totally going to write about the importance of commitment and consistency when running. But […]

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