It’s official. Only two weeks remain until race day. At this point, I am experiencing a wide range of emotions on a daily basis including denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. You may recognize these as the five stages of grief according to the Kübler-Ross model. This model was developed to explain the bereavement process of those experiencing loss, such as terminal illness. I feel that this is an appropriate application, as I am certain that this 50-mile running venture may be the death of me. With less than ideal training under my belt, my thoughts heading into this race go a little something like this:
Stage 1: Denial
It’s still a little ways off…I’m just not going to think about it.
Stage 2: Anger
What in the world was I thinking!? It’s all Leah’s fault for talking me into this!
Stage 3: Bargaining
Dear God, if you get me through this, I promise to [insert any number of good deeds for the betterment of society here].
Stage 4: Depression
There’s no possible way I’m going to get through this. I might as well back out…
Stage 5: Acceptance
The fact is I am committed to running this thing: I made a promise to my running buddy, Leah, that we’d do this race together. Besides, I can’t get even get a refund of my entry fee! It is what it is, and I’ll just show up and do my best, even if that ends up in failure.
I wish I could say that I have successfully achieved the final acceptance stage for good, but I continually waver between the various emotions. But life is not a clean, orderly progression either. One day you feel like you’ve finally got it all together, just to get knocked back down the next. And while there’s nothing wrong with experiencing these different states, it’s important not to let them ultimately deter your ambition and goals.
And with that, Leah and I will begin making our final race preparations. A full blow-by-blow race account will follow, God willing!
Until our paths cross again,