I’ll admit that I usually take a fair bit of time to think about what I want to say and how I want to say it before writing a post on this blog. Not today. Today I will write. Then again one can argue that I’ve been thinking about what I have wanted to say for the past 11 months. So here goes nothing…
I got divorced this morning.
My marriage, my previous life is officially over. Case closed. Game over. Time to turn the page.
Should I feel different? The same? I don’t know how I should feel, but I sure as hell know how I felt standing in front of the judge when I had to affirm that my marriage has “broken down” and is “irreconcilable.” A twinge of melancholy shuddered through my body and was laced with a subtle sense of relief. It’s over. Sigh. It’s really over.
I have spent 11 months living mostly in the dark. My college friends in the Boston area- haven’t seen them. The women in my mom’s group- I’ve shied away for months. My long lost high school friends with whom I used to be so close- I burned those bridges long ago when I didn’t return phone calls and cancelled trips to visit. Coach Beth- I left her after Boston for the opportunity to just run free. Why? Why live in the dark?
For one, shame. Second, fear. I was ashamed of what people might think or say about me. In fact I didn’t have to think about what someone might say. I actually had a woman who I thought was my friend tell me “I saw your divorce coming. Once you started running that’s all you cared about. Running ruined your marriage.” If that’s what one person said I didn’t want to imagine what others thought. I didn’t want to hear other peoples’ opinions about my life and my decisions. I felt shame for not being able to will my marriage into working. I felt shame for being the one to leave, being the one who “gave up.” I worried that people could see my divorce written all over my face and would judge me for it.
Fear. I spent much time afraid of people seeing how sad, weak and lost I felt. You want to present your best self to the world, right (if you are on FB then I’ll assume you inherently agree ;)). Well what happens when you don’t feel like you have a best self? What happens when the once completed puzzle that is your life is broken beneath you on the floor in a heaping mess and you are left hastily trying to pick up the pieces. Yea- you can’t really blame me for not wanting to go to a mom’s night out or to the Greatest Bar to watch the Giants’ painful season (But wait? Isn’t every season kinda painful?). I would have just sat there with a fake smile, eyes glazed over as my mind uncontrollably sifted though memories of years past.
The reality is that there is only so much pain that you want to burden someone else with before you become sick of hearing your own story. At some point you have to stop, lick your wounds and give them proper time to heal. That’s exactly what I did. I stopped training, writing and going out with friends. I was on life’s cruise control. Just as my brother suggested I became a turtle, I hid in my shell. Well, mostly. I did surround myself with my athletes. I would like to take a moment to thank them for believing in me and staying with me through this process. Even though I coach them their progress and passion for self-improvement has repeatedly put a bounce in my step throughout the day. I am lucky to have them in my life. <3
Where am I now?
I’m working on a putting together a new puzzle. I don’t quite know what the picture will be when it’s all pieced together, but I won’t stop trying. First I grabbed the four corners. They were easy to find as they represent the four pillars of my being: Lillian, running, coaching/ counseling and my family. These pillars are the foundation for who I am and what I am most passionate about. Over the past 11 months I have worked hard to create a consistent, safe, happy home for Lillian, pulled back from training and have embraced running, heavily delved into coaching some of the most amazing, passionate athletes to PR’s and new highs and I have leaned on my family more than I knew possible. The four corners of my puzzle are complete.
Over the past month I’ve been pushing around pieces on the table, working on the edges of the puzzle in hopes to begin to see the picture that will ultimately take shape. This week I took several big steps: I gave my two weeks notice at the running store. It’s true. After three years of working in run specialty my time there will come to an end. My coaching business is truly taking off and I want to be able to give more to my athletes. In addition, I have accepted a position at a local counseling center to provide weekly counseling services to individuals. If there is one thing I am passionate about it is about listening to others, hearing their story and helping them reach their goals. On top of the new job I reached out to coach Beth as I’m ready to train again. Over the past two weeks I have covered 150 running miles. It’s true, girl likes to run. But the absence of a structured training plan has left me without any raw speed. Even though girl likes to run, girl likes to run fast even more. 🙂 The hunger is back! BRING IT ON BOSTON 2017!!
Whoa! Word vomit.
You still with me?
Why did I run 150 miles in the past 2 weeks? Oh yea, I’m about 90% sure I’m going to run the Baystate Marathon on October 16th. Why? For fun. What will my pace be- ba-ha! I have no clue. My training paces are slower than the first marathon I ran even though I have covered more miles. Why? Cause I haven’t been doing the work (tempos/speed work). And I’m okay with that. I’m ready to just throw down with what I have in these legs and see what happens.
Because I want to.
Because I can.
Because I’m not afraid.
So yea, I got divorced today. That chapter of my life is over but by the looks of it there are many, many new chapters about to be written.
Here goes nothing…
Never stop running,
The Lone Runner