The Climb

14 Apr

My second 5K was on Saturday– I finished in 34:37, beating my first 5K time by 4.5 minutes. No wardrobe malfunctions, I wasn’t last, and despite being overcast, windy and cold, the rain held off until the afternoon. All in all, it was a good day.

In fact, it was a really good day. I know it’s a little cheesy, but since I don’t have an amusing tale of my athletic dysfunction to tell and I don’t mind being cheesy, I have to say that when I neared the end of the race and realized that I was going to finish somewhere around 34 minutes, I almost started to cry. This is mostly Miley Cyrus’ fault.

Before I explain about Miley, I have to explain that running is an emotional thing for me in general, for many reasons. It’s an amazing feeling to realize what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. Never has the expression “mind over matter” seemed more real to me. If you count yourself out, then guess what? You don’t stand much of a chance. But if you count yourself in, each and every day and no matter what, then you have a damn good shot at anything. I considered myself one of the most improbable runners imaginable- and to be honest I still do to some extent. But at the same time, I haven’t let the fact that I don’t feel like a runner get in the way of trying to become one. Every single finish line I cross is a huge victory, regardless of what my time is. Of course, I can’t lie– the faster the better. Running makes me emotional because for me running isn’t just running (although, I wonder if running is just running for anyone). It’s a transformation of myself into the me I want to be. Ok, that takes the “cheesiest statement ever” award, I know, but it’s true. Six months ago I was quite unhappy, lonely, bored, restless and oh yeah, 20 pounds heavier. Things weren’t exactly going my way, and I was focusing all my energy on that negativity without even entirely realizing it. Now I’ve taken that same energy and channeled it into something that makes me feel happy, excited and strong. Nothing around me changed– I changed. And that brings me to Miley.

When I first heard the song “The Climb”, I did not know who sang it, and to be honest was a little disappointed when I found out it was Miley Cyrus, cause I liked the song a lot- but Miley, not so much (it took lots of explanation for me to understand the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus thing and I haven’t gotten over it. Also, I still don’t get it). And here’s another instance where I’ve gravitated towards something meant for girls under the age of 16- what is wrong with me?! But ultimately I don’t care, because Miley’s song inspires me like none other. I think homegirl tapped into my brain to write these lyrics.

When she starts out singing “I can almost see it/That dream I am dreaming/But there’s a voice inside my head saying/ ‘You’ll never reach it’/Every step I’m taking/Every move I make feels/Lost with no direction/ My faith is shaking”, well, that was me a few months ago.

So imagine how emotional I get when, as I’m coming up to the finish line of Saturday’s race this very song starts playing on my iPod and my girl Miley is belting out “But I gotta keep trying/Gotta keep my head held high/ There’s always gonna be another mountain/ I’m always gonna wanna make it move/ Always gonna be a uphill battle/ Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose/ Ain’t about how fast I get there/ Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side/ It’s the climb /The struggles I’m facing/ The chances I’m taking/Sometimes might knock me down/But no, I’m not breaking/I may not know it/But these are the moments that/I’m gonna remember most, yeah/Just gotta keep going/And I, I got to be strong/Just keep pushing on.” I’m sure that my near tears status is easy to understand, no? Because, as much as I hate to admit that a Disney star has written a song that touches my soul, uh, well….she has. Listen to it. Miley is right. It’s what I’ve been saying all along, but in a top 40 hit kind of way. It’s not always going to be easy, I’m not always going to get what I want, but I’ll be damned if I’m not going to try my hardest and be strong every step of the way. Who knows what’s waiting for me once the triathlon is done- it doesn’t matter. What matters is the journey to get there.

6 Responses to “The Climb”

  1. Heather April 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm #

    Hey there BumbleBee runner-
    Just wanted to say congratulations on how far you have come! Running is HARD!
    Also, I was one of your Marco-Polo playing friends in elementary school in CT (you had the best pool!). Though I know you want to deviate to a more athletic use of the pool, don’t forget that Marco-Polo can be fun too…
    With much admiration and best wishes,
    Heather E.

  2. Be one with the Fro April 16, 2009 at 1:44 am #

    congratulations on your accomplishments! thats freakin awesome! good job!

    I feel the same exact way about the song by miley, the climb…I love the song, but can’t stand the girl!

  3. RunnerDude April 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    If you get to be cheesy, I get to be a sap. LOL! I just saw the Hannah Montanna movie with my 8 and 13 year-old daughters. I found that very same song very uplifting. In general the movie had a good message. Doesn’t matter where you find your inspiration, if it motivates you use it. If a 44yr old dad of three can find motivation in a Hannah Montana movie, then there’s hope for the world. LOL!! Another very inspirational thing I saw yesterday was a clip of a Scottish woman singing in the British version of America’s Got Talent. Here’s the link. You might need a hankie by the end of it.

  4. Dani April 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm #

    Congrats…that is great. I haven’t heard her song (i don’t think), but I can see how it would be very inspirational.
    You should be so pround of yourself!

  5. Tallie April 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm #

    I am running my first 5K next weekend. I am so excited. I just found your blog and am very glad that I did!

  6. Abstaining Irene April 23, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Congrats! What a great accomplishment. I’ve never run a 5k, and I can only imagine the pride you had when you finished. What a journey you’ve been on! Keep up the positive spirits!

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