As I started writing this post, everyone on Facebook is posting that they just signed up for the Grandma’s races. They’re so excited! They’re ecstatic! They’re posting motivational quotes! And I want to punch every one of them in their energetic runner bodies.

Well, not really, because they’re actually the people who have gotten me through runs that I couldn’t have done without them. And there is lots of love there. But I’ve made lots of friends and acquaintances through running, so there are LOTS of posts on this. Today, of all days. On the day on which I’ve decided not to run the half marathon for which I am registered.

Now, I know that I can make myself run half marathons. I’ve run a handful of them. I even PR’d this past May, something I was immensely proud of. I’ve run two full marathons. So I know what it takes to get to that point, and I know that I have it within the confines of this body to follow through. When I’m there mentally.

Right now, though, I cannot, no matter how many psychological strategies and methods I’ve used successfully in the past, absolutely cannot make myself run more than several miles at a time, if I can even get myself out the door. Training for races is a mind game (okay, I usually call it a mind fuck, honestly). I mean, yes, your body has to cooperate, but the mental component can take you out of the game waaaaaaayyyy before the physical component does if you let it. 

And I just let it.

I have made a conscious decision to scrap the half. Throw it in the bin. Take all of the scheduled runs off my calendar. Delete delete delete.

I could justify it away. Blame it on other things. Say that work got in the way (I have been working some loooooong hours). Say that it’s too hot here (it is dang hot, people). Say that the roads are too crazy to run (but that would be a lie. i love running the crazy roads. and they’re not really that crazy.). But the real reason is that my head is not in the game. I don’t want it.

I messaged J this morning saying that I had to scrap the half marathon, “so let the now-Julie-beats-herself-up-about-it party begin!” And while he immediately shot that idea down, I couldn’t help but do that for a little while.  And now I’m getting over it.

I just went to the race website to see if I’d be able to switch to a 10K, and I actually read the fine print that I evidently ignored when I signed the registration form. “All runners are asked to raise at least US$500 – AHC will set up your fundraising page and your log in details will be provided once your page has been completed.” Aaah, so that’s what all those (also ignored) emails were all about! Whaaaaa? $500? I suck at fundraising. Reason number one to quit.

And a bigger reason? I need to rekindle my willingness to say “no” to things (to quit things) that don’t spark joy, so that I have the time, energy, and resources to say “yes” to the things that do. Yep, that’s some Marie Kondo for you right there. Tidying up. So, while so many of my friends are throwing their hats in the ring for upcoming races, I’m keeping my hat firmly on my melon until I see something that lights a fire in my gut. Which right now is not training for a half marathon.

But here’s the kind of messed up part. The main reason I didn’t want to drop out? I didn’t want to admit that I was quitting. Because I was afraid I’d disappoint other people. Well, FUCK THAT from now until forever. That’s right — caps, bold, italics, AND underlining for that right there. It’s not that I don’t care what other people think. It’ll take me until forever to get over that, I’m sure. But it’s that, if I’ve learned one thing in the past few years, it’s that NO ONE who really means anything in my life will think anything less of me for something like this, for crying out loud. What a disgusting insult to the people who have been around me, stuck around me through some ugly times, to think that they are the kind of people who would think that I am “less” for making this decision.

There is no truth in my fear.

I mightily quit.

6 thoughts on “Quitter”

  1. Seriously love this–thank you for writing it–as I just regretted signing up–because I now quickly remembered the mental part I’m not in the mood for anymore —
    I so enjoy your blog and writing style —


    1. Well, thanks, and don’t let me talk you out of it! You’ve got TONS of time to get there mentally (and physically)! And there are also the amazing mental benefits (ooooooh, the endorphin bath for your brain!), so don’t forget about that!


  2. Good decision. Realizing that quitting is powerful is a great realization. It frees you, and right now you have other marathons to run that don’t include beating the pavement with your feet. LIVE RIGHT NOW as most fully as you can. Training can wait.

    I once heard the Irish Traditional Dance Professor (who was oddly from Sweden) say, “I’m most fully alive when I’m dancing.” I thought, “what a wonderful phrase: I’m most fully alive.” I’ve tried to use it as a measure of my activities since.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! And another friend said to me last night, “There will be other half marathon.” To which I replied, “And right now I don’t even care if there are.” Life is all about priorities, right? And choosing things that make me feel most fully alive? Seems like a good way to set priorities!


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