“Head down…as I watch my feet take turns hitting the ground…”
Beyonce’s “Smash Into You” is playing on my Ipod and I’m 1 mile into the three I plan to run on the treadmill. Earlier this week I’d run the three miles in 34 minutes – 6 minutes faster than last week and I wanted to beat that time on this night. Incline at 2.0 – I’m panting and sweating and my sides are burning and I’m thinking somewhere in another dimension there is a version of me who could do 3 miles in 30 minutes in her sleep.
This other version of me has been healthy all her life. No freshman 15 (or 20) to slow her down. Her 20s were not a clusterf*ck of scrambling to write screenplay after screenplay — jumping from random job to random horrible job just to pay the bills (and barely doing that). She was not disorganized or lazy and she didn’t suddenly decide to go to musical theater school and waste 2 years only to find that musical theater was not her passion.
This other version of me feels so far away. So far ahead of where I am in life. She’s probably engaged or married and ready to start a family. She’s probably a homeowner and spends her weekends gardening. This other version of me has probably been to London dozens of times. She already has her Master’s Degree. She doesn’t waste her time writing a bucket list or overthinking important life decisions so much she doesn’t get anything done.
I run faster and pant harder and sweat even more as I think about this other version of me. If I could just push myself a little more….almost at the 2 mile mark….maybe I could reach her.
Maybe I could catch up to her.
Because two weeks ago it took me 45 minutes to run 3 miles. And last Thursday I ran it in 40 minutes. And earlier this week I ran it in 34 minutes. I could run three miles in 30 minutes on this night. Maybe I couldn’t do it in my sleep or without breaking a sweat but I could do it. And if I could do that…I could catch up to this other version of Dawn Melissa…maybe even surpass her.
I didn’t do everything right – even though I imagined I would. I made mistakes, got lost, took the wrong jobs and passed on the right ones. I made the wrong friends and let the right ones go. I didn’t become a famous writer…but it doesn’t mean I’m not the Dawn Melissa I was meant to be. And this other version out there somewhere….she’s just fine. I could be that girl.
But I’m OK with being me.
2 weeks into my training…I’ve lost 3.5 pounds and my best time running 3 miles….is 30 minutes.
And yay…today is my rest day. I get to rest.