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Finding a New Empire


I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Accomplishment Belittlement. If I run my first official 5K, I think, "Well, it's just a 5K." Or if I do a new work project, I think, "Well, it's just an essay series."

You see the problem here. (For you are a keen problem seer.) When I run my first 10K, I'll think, "Well, it's not a marathon." When I run a marathon, I'll think, "Well, it's not Badwater." When I run Badwater, I'll think, "Well, it's not flapping my arms and flying to the moon."

Note to self: Find a new kingdom. One with more lap giraffes and self recognition.

Just because something has been done before by lots of other people doesn't mean it isn't scary or a worthy accomplishment or a huge step for me.

So, yeah. I ran my first official race this weekend.

Now, I've done a lot of unofficial running. I've even run a 12K by accident. How does one accidentally run that many miles, you ask?


About ten years ago, my friend Nora and I wanted to do Bay-to-Breakers. I was thinking the booze fest version, the kind that wears glitter and weaves down the course in the early afternoon. She was thinking the version that gets up at 6 and moves faster than an inebriated shuffle. In retrospect, there may have been some miscommunication. And that's how I ended up running a 12K in the rain at 8 a.m. while wearing jeans. We ran the whole way, something that would kill me dead today, but was manageable when I was 22 and made of titanium.

But running this 5K on Saturday and crossing the finish line of a race that I planned and trained for was an incredible rush. It wasn't my best run, by any means. My contact decided to capture a speck of dust and hold it hostage against my eyeball and I got the first cramp of my running life at mile two, but I still ran the whole way - just like I told myself I would. And when I saw that finish line and started picking up my pace to cross it.... Yeah. I wanna do that again. Any activity where people applaud and offer me fruit is an activity I want to do as often as possible.

Noting My Accomplishments, Even If They Don't Feel As Impressive as Badwater or Bestsellers

I ran my first 5K on Saturday. I'm launching an essay series in a few weeks. I'm even braving newsletter territory.

This doesn't mean I won't ever have a bad run again. (Hi, yesterday!) This doesn't mean I won't be riding the Scary Essay Rollercoaster for awhile. (Hi, baffling emotions and nausea!) But that doesn't matter. Because doing it perfectly isn't the point. Doing the things and moving the hell on - that is the point.

Especially if the next thing looks anything like this:

Jenna, me, and Nicole. Oh, you know. Just that time we ruled the world.