Friday, December 10, 2010

When the (Running) Shoe is on the Other Foot

Since my last post, I have had another beginner's group start and finish. This time, though, it didn't go as planned.

I found out I was pregnant back in July. While this is an exciting time for us, I have a pretty complicated pregnancy history and one that does not allow me to run. And this go around is even more complicated as I'm pregnant with twins. While I was able to keep coaching my groups, I wasn't able to run with them.

About half-way through this last group (at the end of October), I had some complications and went on bed rest. Everything is all right now, but I wasn't able to continue to physically coach my group through the end of their program. Needless to say, I was heartbroken that I couldn't see them finish not only their program but their first 5K race. I had a lot of wonderful people helping me with the program, so they weren't on their own and all of them finished the program and their race beautifully.

I continued to coach them as much as possible through email. I often have clients from around the country that I coach "virtually," so this was not a foreign concept to me. But I still felt terribly and I felt I was somehow letting them down. I know that life happens and certain things are out of control and my health and that of my babies is the top priority. Still, when you spend much of your time helping others reach their goals and suddenly you are not physically there for them, it is hard. For beginning runners, this running thing can be scary, intimidating, overwhelming, you name it. And I love helping them get through it, sometimes physically holding their hands through it. So many people try to run on their own and they fail. And they never get to experience that feeling of exhilaration of crossing a finish line or running a certain distance. I feel so honored to be able to do that with others. The people I coach are like my little chicks and I get to see them grow and get strong enough to fly on their own. It's an amazing experience.

What I wasn't prepared for was the outpouring of love and support from the participants in the group. I guess when you're usually the one being supportive you aren't used to people supporting you. The running shoe was definitely on the other foot. I had people from my group bring my family dinners, books for me to read, etc. It has meant so much to me to have that support.

Earlier this week we held a dinner for all the participants of all my running programs from 2010. I was given the green light from my doctor to attend as long as I didn't move around too much. I cannot tell you how much of a boost it was to see everyone again. To hear their stories about how they are still running, looking to try new things, new goals, new distances. It was a wonderful evening and it really meant so much to be there.

What I'm trying to say is 'thank you' to all the people who have sent their words of love and support my way. It has meant the world to me. It's hard sometimes to except the fact that you need help and support from others, especially when you're used to being there for others.

I cannot wait until the next program begins and I can be with a whole new crop of runners-to-be. I love ya!