Saturday, June 2, 2012


Giving something up is not giving up.
Sorry I am gonna ramble on about things. Feel free to stop reading now.

For the longest time I thought I wanted to be a professional runner, and I have no idea why I thought this. I didn't even want to run in college.  It took an entire year of getting sick, having bad workouts, stressing out, researching my future, never 'pr-ing,' and having only one good meet to realize this is not ever what I wanted.  And somehow Saturday night after my last collegiate race (and slowest to date), I found myself wandering a bar-filled street in Austin, Texas wearing only my uniform (which looks like underwear) and crying to Mumford and sons. I don't even know how I got there. I just started sprinting and then I was there and people were staring at me and I was soaked in sweat because it was Texas and I was wailing. And then I realized I didn't want to do it anymore.

Success is addicting.  I was good at running and people knew who I was because of running and I liked that.  I liked that I could work really hard and control every aspect of my life and until this year, control the result.  But I don't think I ever loved competing.  I see people in my life who get excited to race and all I could do was be so nervous and not want to talk about it. I love working hard.  And I love running. I love nature. And I love being surrounded by beautiful wonderful inspiring teammates.  But I did not love racing.  I love what it feels like to get a runner's high and to run really fast and be healthy. But I hated the idea of being an 'athlete.'

Yet I forced it because I was afraid of letting go.  I was afraid that I would never have the same amount of success in anything else again and therefore I would be nobody. And then I realized. I don't care. I love being ordinary and I love a lot of things and it doesn't matter how good I am at them.  And I can always surround myself with good people and I can always run. But I can also bike, swim, climb mountains, stay up late, go on adventures, eat a burger, and drink a beer without feeling guilty or that I am in some way not fully committing myself to success.

And now I have let go.  And I feel free. And I feel so SCARED and so DEPRESSED. But there is hope (Jesus!) and I don't care if I never have the same level of success and that the biggest deal my name will ever be is to sixty year old men who watched high school track. Life is still good and well and there are many blessing and it was so so good to let go. Ironically I have had more good runs since 'being done with running' then I have had the whole year. Funny how that works:)

Okie day. I'm done.


  1. don't sweat it. you're just not the type that thrives on lining up and beating people.
    be grateful that your running job helped greatly to pay for school and meet some quality along the way, but, like you're doing, close that door, open some new ones and explore some new landscapes, without taking and shouldering big stuff that conflicts with your the ultra-competitive, D1 running grind did.

    after you decompress, do find the joy in running again--or, i should say, find the joy in actively using your body...running, biking, hiking, etc.--it's just good for you, and you meet such neat people doing that stuff.

  2. Betsy, I heard about your blog and am glad your Mom posted the link. It's great you worked through this. It is one ( of many) of lifes passages. What you felt about your running career goes hand in hand with the end of college and moving on to the great unknown that is ahead of you. You have a wonderful life ahead, take sometime to sort it out. Run when you want, sleep in when you need to and stop to smell the roses along the way. Jody Suttie