I Make Weird Dares

Happy Friday! (I definitely started typing Fireday if that gives any indication as to how hot it is here in Raleigh)

I wanna talk about setting goals today cause, if you haven’t picked up from the whole gradschool/ironman thing, I’m a super goal-oriented person and not everyone gets that.

Most of my goals start out as jokes. Like “we should run 5 Ironmans by the time we’re 25” LMAO XD Flash forward a few years and about half of that statement was actually accomplished. Weird right?

Let’s start with grad school. To be completely honest, I NEVER imagined getting my PhD. Ever. It was something I actually tried to avoid for years and only just accepted the idea of getting one about 2 years ago. The decision to accept an offer for a funded PhD project happened when I was driving from Mississippi State University to Little Rock. I had just broken a 3 year relationship and was not it the best state of mind. It sort of happened as a dare. I dared myself to get a PhD. I dared myself to break ‘tradition’ and not do the whole marriage/job/babies/house-in-your-20s thing.

aaaaaaaannnnnnd I struggled with that. For a long time. I watched my friends happily get married, buy houses, get well paying jobs, etc. And it seemed like I was stuck in this time warp of kinda-college-kinda-not idk wtf I am. Not fully adult with an ‘adult’ life but not a college kid who enjoys the ‘college experience’ either. It’s this weird gray area. I fought being in that weird gray area. For 2 years. And made myself miserable in the process. But something clicked and I realized that to be a successful grad student and to complete my dare, you have to be 100% okay with the gray area. It’s okay to be in a weird half-adult state cause every other grad student is there too. It’s not the same ‘adulthood’ that’s sold to you as a kid, but it’s still a valid ‘adulthood’ and will be a super exciting adventure if you let it.

Also, I have this weird thing about never quitting so that also helped push me through.

5 years ago I would have laughed hysterically if you told me I would run marathons and enjoy it. Seriously. I remember actually laughing at the idea when it was suggested. I thought of it as a hilarious joke…….which……of course…..ended up with me running a couple marathons. The thought process was like this:

LOL NO…..that’s crazy……running 2 miles sucks……(now in a sleep deprived state) hmmmmm………ya know what could be cool? running a half marathon…….signs up for half marathon……(next morning) SHIT wtf did I do?!? well I paid a bunch of money so I may as well…….(finishes) that was pretty cool…..definitely don’t want to run more than that……marathons are CRAZY……(few months later)………friend asks if you’re interested in a race……..debate for a couple weeks……..in a moment of weakness (read 3 glasses of wine in) sign up for FULL marathon…….(the next few months consist of a lot mental berating for doing something that stupid and crazy).

But when the time came to actually run the dang thing I was actually excited! Yeah, it’s scary. Yeah my knees don’t like to run sometimes. Yeah I laughed at the idea of doing it. Yeah it’s kinda cool.

And I finished.

A similar thing happened with triathlons. I was joking with my friend Jen on how we were going to finish an Ironman race by the time we were 25. That never happened. But. When Ironman created a 70.3 race in Raleigh, my interest was piqued. So one night, after several glasses of wine, (are you seeing the trend here?) I signed up.

And I completed a half Ironman when I was 25.

I have no idea what I’m going to do next, besides graduate with a PhD. But a new goal/dare/idea has been floating around in the back of my head for a while now. It may be time to make another crazy dare…..

I want to dare myself to qualify for the Boston Marathon by the time I’m 30. I am daring myself to finish a marathon in 3:35 which is running a pace of about 8:12 min/mile for 26.2 miles.

It’s on.

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