We’re eight weeks away from the 2012 ING NYC Marathon and I’m experiencing achilles, feet and knee pain. Great. Eight weeks away and not this. I scheduled an appointment with a podiatrist my coworker highly recommended on the Upper West Side. Let’s call him Dr. G.
He’s lovely. He’s gentle and personal. He listened to me and my concerns, even massaged my feet a little. And then told me I’m not built to be a runner, I’m not the ideal athlete, I’m bow-legged, and need to be stronger. (Insert record player scratch).
I was offended for a milli-second. I get it, I’m not built to be a runner. I’ve spent more of my life being a couch potato than I have being active. Maybe I do have bow-legs. But I’m not going to let that stop me from running. And he knew that.
I start physical therapy next week and have to go every week for the next six weeks. Dr. G didn’t even try to convince me to quit, he’s just going to “help me be stronger.” (Let’s not ignore the fact that I’m the strongest I’ve ever been in my life.)
The point is I have to work harder than the average person to do something I love to do. But isn’t that the irony of life? What we love to do is not always what we’re most naturally inclined to do, it’s usually the opposite. Anything worth having doesn’t come easy. And that’s why it’s so rewarding and fun when you actually get to do it. That’s what makes one an athlete. Not a jersey, or a fancy contract, or actually being the best at a sport. It’s hard work, persistence, and continuously aiming to be better.
Eight weeks ’til the NYC Marathon.
I may not be the ideal runner, but I will show them what an athlete looks like.