I’m an Athlete

I woke up at 4 am today and I ran.  I ignored the impulse to hit the snooze button.  I pushed through the hard of the warm up and the first mile.  I ran over 3 miles using 3 minute intervals of fast and slow.    I focused on the strength I felt deep in my core.  I pictured myself gliding forward, not lumbering along.  I shook the sweat from my chin, and stole it out of my eyes.  I sang along with the music and marveled at the waking Vermont farmlands.  I could smell the earth, cool and musky.  The vanilla sunlight made the blue sky seem unconvinced.  But I was convinced.

I’m a runner.

I woke up at 4 am today and I swam.  I ignored the impulse to hit the snooze button.  I pushed through the awkward first couple hundred yards while my body got used to the watery world.  I swam hard and fast.  I swam easy and slow.  I focused on keeping myself moving through a channel my body created through the water near its surface.  I pictured my arms anchoring as leverage for my core to sling me forward with each stroke.  I marveled at the steamy fog rising off the pool to mix with the perfect morning air.  I smiled as the sun finally peeked out over the Green Mountains and lit the sparkling clear water of the outdoor pool.  The lush, green world warmed up to the light and the prospect of facing another vibrant summer day.  I was all confidence, too.

I’m a swimmer.

I woke up at 7 am today and I lifted weights…

I woke up at 6 am today and I took my dog for a walk…

I woke up at 4 am today and I did yoga…

I woke up at 10 am today and I climbed a mountain…

I woke up today.  I got out of bed.

Today, I will leave the world behind. Maybe I will leave my phone behind.  Maybe I will take it with me.  I might rest.  I might try not to rest.  I will push myself.  I will take it easy. I will definitely keep going until I find whatever prize I pursue – my goal, the finish, the top, the end, or my own end.   I will stretch, reach, hope, hurt, smile, laugh, and do what I set out to do.  I will close my eyes and listen.  To everything.  To nothing.  To my mind and my heart and my body.

I’m an athlete.

I didn’t do one great thing once.

I am great every single day.

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