Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ill Prepared

I am a planner.

  • I plan for any number of outcomes to a scenario.
  • I (at times) agonize over the various ways to accomplish a project.
  • And then, I practice, practice, practice and rehearse and prepare. 

Back in the days when I had to do a speech or presentation for school, I would undoubtedly have the whole thing memorized - even if it wasn't required - simply because I would practice over and over again. (This skill came in handy during my acting days.)

Even though I'm almost always over-prepared, I still have three recurring dreams that creep in during times of stress:

1. I'm back in high school and I don't know my class schedule. The anxiety that I feel over not knowing where I'm supposed to go is paralyzing. Not to mention the fact that the "ladies in the office" are always too busy to print out another copy of my schedule for me!

2. I'm in a Shakespeare show and I don't know my lines. I frantically flip through the script backstage and try to cram as much as I can. (There's no way to ad lib Shakespeare!) I always either miss my cue to go on stage, or I stand on stage knowing it's my turn to speak, but I've got nothing.

3. I'm in high school and I have skipped one class a lot. (Basically what I actually did my senior year for a class that shall remain nameless, but let's not go there.) In the dream, I miss a very important test and have to make it up in order to graduate, but I have no idea what material will be on the test.

What's the deal with my subconscious?! Give yourself a break!

Also, it's clear my brain has zero desire to return to high school.

My first half marathon was one of those times when preparation met opportunity, and I found success!

The Oklahoma summer months were pretty brutal so I did fewer training runs for my second half marathon, and surprisingly, my time improved.

Then came winter, so I did even fewer training runs for my third half marathon.

During that time, I started a business and the winter got even colder in Oklahoma, so the training runs for my 4th half marathon were pretty much non-existent.

I mean, I ran 10 miles the weekend before the half, but prior to that, I'd only run 11 times since the new year. Erm, I was supposed to be running 4 times a week for 12 weeks.


I'm not sure I've ever been less prepared for something than I was for my half marathon this past weekend.

Yet, I'd argue it was my best half ever!!

The weather was perfect; I saw so many friends along the route; the course was enjoyable with various parks and entertainment along the way; I dominated the Walnut Street bridge (and two other hills) without feeling like I was going to pass out at the top; spectators had great signs that made me laugh; my best friend was running beside me telling stories and jokes and encouraging me with Philippians 4:13; and best of all, my Momma was at the finish line cheering!

My time was slower than all of my other halfs, but I had the most fun!

Lesson? Sometimes preparation takes all the joy out of an adventure!

(Kidding. I don't think that's the real lesson here.)

I love this quote from the "congratulations" email from our running group: "In running, it doesn't matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, 'I have finished.' There is a lot of satisfaction in that." - Fred Lebow

xoxo, E

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