Thank you for collectively kicking my ass.

I started this blog for purely selfish reasons, none of which were particularly deep or well thought out. T-Rex Runner came into being simply because it occurred to me that I might not be able to remember all of my races as I ran more and more of them and as time passed between them. I figured I should probably write something down about each one since it’s only a matter of time before I’ve killed off all my brain cells through excessive consumption of craft beer and/or Bud Light. That’s it. That’s why I started this fine piece of literary greatness – so I could get drunk and not have to worry about memory loss.

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I’m still not good at day drinking.

When T-Rex Runner began, I didn’t think anyone accept T-Rex Mom would read it. Truth be told, T-Rex Mom has a pretty short attention span much of the time, so I wasn’t even entirely sure she would read it. Imagine my amusement surprise as more and more people, from my coworkers and clients (hey Steve!) to complete strangers in other states, and then other countries, and then other continents started following. Thanks guys. No pressure.

And I definitely didn’t think I would inspire anyone along the way.  If I am being absolutely 100 percent honest, I don’t consider myself inspirational at all. Not even a little bit. But apparently other people do, and that has blown me away. The best part? Some of the people who say I inspire them are actually the people who inspire me. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve pushed through a long run (or hell, a short one half the time) or a marathon thinking about someone else who has overcome some huge obstacle to make it to the starting line, or someone who is fighting to lose a lot of weight and works at it every day. The people who get out there and train hard and work hard, go home and raise their kids, all the while keeping a smile on and making it look easy? They’re my heroes. The ones who make it look really really hard? They are too. (I tear up a little every time I pass someone struggling through a walk/run on one of the routes I run. Y’all are AMAZING. I am lame.) Every time someone mentions to me that they want to start running, I refer them to the Couch to 5k program, which is how yours truly started running (seriously!) and wait anxiously for their updates as they make it through each workout. I’m a little obsessive about it – sorry if you’ve been a victim of this.

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Sorry I’m not sorry for making you do a 5k, Jackie.

So what’s my point in all this? Yes, every single one of you inspires me. But the greater point and the thing I am most proud of is that the support from all of you is helping me overcome my self doubt. Yes, YOU are helping me. You are the bomb.

Over the past year, I have been approached to write a book. I have been pushed to submit articles to various magazines, newspapers, etc. I have been encouraged to go out and look for sponsors, and write to Bart Yasso and tell him I’m his new protege, and a whole bunch of other crazy ideas that I really just couldn’t wrap my mind around. So I haven’t done them. I’ve thought about it, but I haven’t. Truth is, I don’t think what I have to say is that interesting…but you do. I don’t think I’m very funny…but you do. And that got me thinking about some advice I gave a friend recently, which was basically that if everyone thinks you’re making a bad decision except you, 99 times out of 100, you are indeed making a bad decision, like that time I got married. How does that apply here? Well, if all of you guys think I’m on to something here, then maybe I am. Maybe I’m the crazy one after all. Wouldn’t be the first time.

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Bart and I are already best friends, NBD.

I decided I need to start taking myself seriously (ish). So I’ve made some big moves in the past week. I’ve done some stuff that literally made my skin itchy. Does your skin not itch when you get nervous? Is that just me?

1. I’ve contacted some race directors to see if they would be interested in having me run their race as a journalist. I’ll get some behind the scenes stuff and maybe even some interviews with the race directors themselves. Kind of cool, right? Turns out, every race director I’ve asked so far has not only said yes, they’ve even been excited about it. Get ready for some hard hitting news stories coming to you live from the following:

  • Baton Rouge Beach Marathon (December 1, 2012) – Baton Rouge, LA
  • Mississippi Blues Marathon (January 5, 2013) – Jackson, MS
  • Garmin Marathon (April 20, 2013) – Olathe, KS
  • Wisconsin Marathon (May 4, 2013) – Kenosha, WI

2. Remember at the beginning of the year when I said one of my goals for 2012 was to get published? Well apparently, I thought someone was just going to email me and be like “Omg gurrrl you have the best blog ever, please let me publish it! Love, Bart Yasso.” Except that didn’t happen. Awkwardly, reading over my list of goals for this year, most of those didn’t happen…oops. Anyway, just like your soulmate probably isn’t going to knock on your front door and announce that he’s there to fall in love with you and buy you things, most publishers aren’t just aimlessly perusing the internet waiting to find new content. And although I have been contacted about writing a book (whoa!) that takes a lot of time, thought, and outlining, so in the short term I’m thinking more along the lines of a magazine article.

So I emailed Bart Yasso.  I’m reaching out to other running magazines and I won’t stop, can’t stop til someone gives me a chance. And I shamelessly begged nonchalantly requested that Anders pass my blog along to his people at Runner’s World Sweden. The Biking Viking doesn’t know it yet, but I’m drafting him as my agent since he has time now that he just became the first Swede to finish a marathon in all 50 states! AMAZING!

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Getting ready to finish the 50 states with a T-Rex!

Maybe nothing will ever come of the contacts I’m putting out there…but I have to try, right? I’ve always been afraid of failing, but not knowing is worse.

3. I opened that really scary box that all the shirts came in…and I mailed them to you. Yeah. I was pretty freaked out about the shirts. I was convinced that when I opened the box, they would be some mangled mess of ill-fitting, poor quality material. Instead, they’re just really badass. I’m glad I opened that box. Don’t have a shirt yet? Uh, GET NE.

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Good shirt for running marathons…

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GREAT shirt for drinking from DAS BOOT!

4. I entered a mascot race. Yup, this can only end well. But I saw the picture below of the Route 66 Marathon Mascot Dash, and it said you just needed a mascot and you could sign up to advertise your business or website. Well, I have a mascot, just not a costume…so I put out a feeble plea on facebook, and just like ALWAYS, a faithful member of Team T-Rex came through. So the awesome Abbi is making me a sweet T-Rex costume, and I will be running in the Mascot Dash. You’ll want to bring your cameras for this, people.

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Interesting fact: I have no idea how long the race actually is. Oops.

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She’s so adorable that I trust her to make me an epic costume, complete with paper mache T-Rex head.

5. I became the Assistant to the Race Director for the Columbia Marathon.  When I told AJ this, he audibly groaned – like I need something else to do, right? Right. But I believe in this race so much, and the Race Director is this amazing dynamo of a guy who is going to teach me everything I need to know about race directing. This way, I can finish my master’s degree project, but even more importantly, some day fulfill my dream of having a dinosaur-themed marathon event. You’re welcome in advance. While this isn’t completely related to the blog, y’all have given me confidence to believe I can add something to the creative process behind this race. And now you just get to hear me endlessly harp even more about what an awesome race it is! Everyone wins.

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You know you want to be there next year!!!

So thank you, one and all, for collectively kicking my ass and making me believe in myself, even if it only lasts for today. I hope you know that you all have given me far more than I could possibly hope to ever give to you, unless we’re talking about high fives. I am really great at high fives. Now if only someone could start inspiring my fantasy football team to stop sucking, we’d really be getting somewhere.

TELL ME: What do you need motivation to do? I will return the favor and kick your ass and make you believe you can do it.

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