I know my stretch marks won’t go away. I know I’ll likely never have a six-pack. I know I won’t win anything, expect maybe my age group once in a while.
But I still run. To be ready.
I want to be ready for the race that we have in a couple weeks, and for the race that we don’t even know about yet.
I want to be ready for anything. For the race that a friend just decided to do, for a mud run that we just found out about, or for a killer hike that has one heck of a payoff.
I just want to be ready. Because I don’t want to miss any opportunity.
I also want to be ready to go, on a moment’s notice. The first time I flexed that muscle, I agreed to a Havasupai hike without ever checking my schedule, my bank account or my resting heart rate.
That was more than two years ago. And I haven’t looked back since. We’ve signed up for races months in advance, and we’ve signed up for races on very little notice. We’ve even signed up for races that we confuse with other races.
We’re ready to go in so many ways that I don’t even hesitate to consider a road trip we haven’t planned for months, a quickie visit to the lake or an impromptu overnighter in the mountains. I love being that ready.
One of the coolest moments of readiness, I think, was when we decided to squeeze in a light six-mile hike through Pinnacles National Park after completing a Spartan Super race in Monterrey – which absolutely destroyed our quads, hammies and calves. Like, shredded them.
But we were so close to the park – the closest we’d probably ever be – that we didn’t even waste time eating before deciding to beat the sunset and drive directly to the park to check out what we had been told was an amazing place to see. We still had mud on us from the run. And energy supplements in our packs, and shoes on our feet and water in our bottles – so we were ready.
We didn’t miss it.
It’s one of the reasons I run through a side cramp, even when I’m just taking my loops around our neighborhood. Because if I stop for it while training, I’ll stop for it while actually doing. And I don’t want to stop.
Maybe me wanting to be ready is my little slice of insanity, but I don’t really think so. We have two races on the calendar in the next month – two we’ve done before and done well at. We’re to the point on these races that I probably won’t get butterflies at the start line.
Okay, I probably will still. But it won’t be because I’m not prepared for it. I’m always ready. And I don’t ever not want to be.