Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Running on a Stage

I looked at my friends running ahead with green eyes. How graceful they looked tackling the trails with ease and grace while I tripped over every rock and stick that crossed my path. As the runners ahead stopped to give their dog water, I caught up and said with resentment; “I am in a running rut!”
My friend just looked at me. She gave her optimistic smile and said; “As I recall you were in a running rut before the Maui Marathon.”
This statement took me by surprise and I realized she was right. It’s me! All me! Am I just living inside of my head?

Can't always lead the pack
Always right before an important race that I trained hard for, I seem not up to par in my running performance. I also, seem to get partially sick. I say partially because I am never one to get fully sick, I get the early stages of a cold it's true, but it never progresses into anything major, but I worry that it will. Could these unnecessary dramatics be avoided if I didn’t worry so much?

Nothing but blue skies right?
And speaking of dramatics-

I tweeted one day to a fellow runner that “Running a race was like performing on a stage - always so nerve racking.”
Yes, I am a part time actress and have been performing on the stage and screen for many moons. When I did live theatre I would have anxiety dreams right before opening night that I wouldn’t have my costume, or didn’t know my lines. Fortunately these were just nightmares for my opening nights always went flawlessly. The same goes for racing. Days before I would have run dreams where I ran in the wrong direction (which I have done in the past, but it was never as bad as my dream portrayed) or I overslept and missed the gun sendoff. I would wake in a cold chill, and no that wasn’t sweat from not changing out of my running clothes.

In running, instead of performing in front of hundreds of people, I am performing with hundreds of people. While on the stage, the ability to sing, and dance, and move around easily certainly does take endurance, but it doesn’t compare to running a race where sometimes I want to cry because the pain of running too fast  is far to much to bear.
So yes, I do compare running to performing. Both bring out the same dark forces that make me feel insecure with my talents and abilities. I must write post-it notes and stick them on my bathroom mirror to remind myself that I have worked hard to get to where I am and am well rehearsed. That I will give the best performance that I possibly can. And unlike the stage, I am running for nobody else but me! Deep breath. Namaste.

Forest of Nisene Marks State Park but of course.

My favorite picture taken on that day - Nisene Marks


runnergirl training said...

Beautiful pics!

Average A said...

Some good analogies & awesome pics!

David H. said...

I've done a few plays and directed a couple of one-act plays in college -- you are definitely right with running and training like being on stage. I've made that comparison before. All the training is just practice for race day, just like rehearsals are practice for opening night.