Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me

I have a birthday in a few days. It is one of those insignificant numbers, nothing to get too worked up about. Except it comes right after a big number. And somehow the birthdays following a big birthday are even more troubling. Not only did you hit the big one, but they just keep coming.

I am not a fan of my birthday so I am not writing this to solicit well wishes. In fact, I'd prefer that my birthday be a low-key or even no-key affair. I am happy to celebrate anyone else's birthday, but my own just leaves me melancholy. It isn't about getting older, because I've been this way since my 20s. It is a condition I have dubbed PBD - Pre-Birthday Depression. It is the period of time, usually the week preceding, where I am in a funk. I spend the time reflecting on the past year of my life and brooding about all the things I didn't accomplish. All the things I didn't improve upon. The 10 pounds I didn't lose, the class on using my DSLR camera I didn't take, the household projects I didn't get to. While I am usually more of a glass-half-full kind of gal, PBD is a lens where I can only see the negative. I want to crawl into bed and eat chocolate until it passes.

This past year hasn't been easy. Last summer, while training for a marathon I injured my knee. I have never had a sports injury before and did not realize that recovery is a slow and often times not linear process. So I went from running 5 days a week and thinking about running constantly to not running at all but still thinking about running constantly. And when I when I finally was on the road to recovery I had to rebuild my mileage slowly, only to be told I had to have surgery and then needed to take more time off and then start over again rebuilding my mileage. And then I got a pinched a nerve in my back which had me out for a while. So once again I find myself starting over with running and slowly rebuilding my mileage and speed and trying not to be discouraged.

Which brings me to today. It was a beautiful day outside and I was able to go for a run - the longest run for quite some time. And at a pace that wasn't humiliating.

I was out on my run and feeling fantastic. I am killing the hills and not feeling like I need to stop. Nothing hurts. And I fly by two women who were wogging on the path (this is a half-jog, half-walk). They were easily 10 years younger than me, thin, cute and very hip in their wogging gear. I passed them on my way out and did my runner's hello smile and nod. And on the way back I did the same and one of them called out to me, and I quote, "Wow, you are really moving. I want to be you." 

I don't know if I will ever see these woggers again and I sincerely hope they continue on their path to runners because they were working hard (and they owe it to their cute outfits). But thank you woggers, with that friendly greeting you completely dispelled my PBD. I have been glowing all day and it isn't an extended runner's high. It is from knowing that regardless of the trials and tribulations of my past year I am indestructible and resilient, regardless of my age. And it isn't about what did or did not get done in the past year. It is about all the wonderful things that are ahead of me.