It’s Official: 2:29:46

Feet not touching the ground!

I can’t remember where I heard it first, but apparently it takes 21 days to form a habit. This nugget of pop-psych-science is most often used in conjunction with encouraging the formation of positive habits mind you, not so much of the go-out-and-have-a-21-day-bender variety. One click of the Google and you will find countless links on how to use these three weeks to eat better, exercise more, sleep soundly, save money… the list of good-doing habits is endless. I tend to believe in this theory, even if I do fall off the wagon now and again, I know that if I can gut it out through 21 days I will likely come out calmer, healthier, and happier on the other side. In the case of the Running and Writing Challenge I imposed upon myself, I needed the additional nine days to really get it: I love to run and I am learning to love opening myself up creatively by writing.

This past Saturday, December 5th to be exact, was the day of my half marathon, the North Face Endurance Challenge. It marked the end of the 30 days of training and preparation, but more importantly the beginning of a new habit. I am sheepish to admit it still, but I feel like I might have finally made writing that habit. I looked back at the first post and I wrote, “And if I hear one more time that I should be/need to/why aren’t you writing and offer some b.s. excuse, well then, I might not have learned anything in 2009.” Well listen up 2009, you stubborn bitch, I learned!

Ironically, this has been the hardest post to write and it feels clunky. I hate saying goodbye, yet I relish change, so I am going to refer you to this highly abridged and completely awkward list below as I figure out how to take the training wheels off of my new habit.

Some stuff I learned:

…that carbo loading works for me.

…that I can make people laugh hard.

…that I am confident, not intimidating.

…that bodies respond to exercise with both joy and pain, and that both are equally important. I found my joy in telling stories, and how to make a change to make the pain go away. Even if it means rest.

…that I can climb my way over a hill and a metaphor.

…that focused commitment gets results, except when we are not honoring our values. I am committed to always paying attention to my values.

…that cheeseburgers are THE BEST recovery food.

…that I cry almost once a day. And that the tears or choke-up is almost always followed by a huge smile.

…and that I can make people tear-up too and feel emotional, but in the good way. See above.

…that hiking hills and running down them makes me feel like a kid and reminds me of my flying dreams.

…that caffeine is seductive and charming, and now, needs to go away.

…that I need to get my foot re-checked. Ow.

…that people, MY people, all of YOU are beautiful, special, insightful, brave, supportive, complex, witty, warm, silly, funny, inspiring and most of all, filled with love. Thank you for letting me share bits of your lives through my writing and how I have been able to learn from you and your choices and circumstances and challenges. Thank you for every kind word, every “thumbs up” on a photo or a post, every hug both real and cyber, especially every thought you just sent out to me the old fashioned way, through your heart. No kind thought is unnoticed.

I think it no coincidence that the last song I heard on the radio before I made my way to the start line (and yes, I burst into tears, duh) was “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles. Sing it out loud tonight and know I am singing loud and proud with you. And then maybe sing it for the next 21 days, just to see what happens.

Love, Love, Love.
Love, Love, Love.
Love, Love, Love.

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.

It’s easy.

Nothing you can make that can’t be made.
No one you can save that can’t be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.

It’s easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

Nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.

It’s easy.

All you need is love.
All you need is love.
All you need is love, love.
Love is all you need.

All you need is love (All together, now!)
All you need is love. (Everybody!)
All you need is love, love.

Love is all you need (love is all you need)
(love is all you need) (love is all you need)
(love is all you need) Yesterday (love is all you need)
(love is all you need) (love is all you need)


Oh yeah!

love is all you need, love is all you need,love is all you need, love is all you need, oh yeah oh hell yea! love is all you need love is all you need love is all you need.

Click “Comments” below to see comments from original FB posts.


One thought on “It’s Official: 2:29:46

  1. Nettie-

    Yah Mama! It was just about dark when I crossed that line…..
    December 8, 2009 at 3:48pm


    WOW!!! I cannot stop thinking about you and your FIFTY MILES. You are nothing short of incredible!
    December 8, 2009 at 3:49pm


    it’s official…you rock!
    December 8, 2009 at 5:10pm


    Big Smile
    December 8, 2009 at 6:29p


    I was thinking about you on 12/5 and glad to hear it was an awesome outcome. Yea!!!!!!
    December 8, 2009 at 8:58pm


    …you are a runner.
    …you are a writer.
    December 8, 2009 at 10:05pm


    i’ve always loved there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…
    congrats mama!!
    December 8, 2009 at 10:50p


    me too NR, that is my fave line. ♥
    December 9, 2009 at 8:29am


    Congratulations again. You are awesome! Now start a blog. :)
    December 9, 2009 at 10:01am


    I knew you were going to say that KB. hmmmmm.
    December 9, 2009 at 10:24am


    The interwebs people make it so easy! I would point out that you already have a stable of followers, but I think the best advice is to write like no one is reading.
    December 9, 2009 at 10:39am


    Justine – as always you can sum up in words what so many people have trouble expressing and in that way, you help them to work through thoughts and feelings that otherwise might have kept them stuck (and not knowing why they’re stuck which is that much more challenging).

    Keep running (both literally and metaphorically) towards your goals. You’re bound to make it and with a personal best time too!
    December 9, 2009 at 2:04pm


    been quietly following your writings…congrats and thanks…the 30 went too fast.
    December 9, 2009 at 4:50pm


    humble thanks Tom. that means a lot. glad you enjoyed.
    December 9, 2009 at 5:57pm


    is it really over? You need to keep writing- it is waaaay too good.
    December 10, 2009 at 5:02pm


    that makes me smile and is also motivating…
    December 10, 2009 at 5:59pm

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