Tee hee. Hi!
I’ve gotta say, I am a *tad* overwhelmed by the amount and intensity of support and encouragement I am receiving regarding Sunday’s race. I wrote earlier this week about how I feel eerily unterrified about it. Among the other things that creep me out are the types of words being used to describe this undertaking. “Heroic. “Beyond Mortal.”
Now. This might be where you say, “Lady J. You know you have problems accepting praise.” To which I say, you’re absolutely right. However, I don’t think that’s what this is. Unless I am discussing food (I want to marry this sandwich. Joan Medianoche),I make a concerted effort to use my words conservatively. I want to say exactly what I mean in order for those with whom I communicate not to misunderstand. I want to convey my thoughts and thought process as accurately as possible. It is also a means of defense as offense, for I know that anything I say could be potentially held against me. I am a thinker – perhaps, to a fault. I understand and respect (mostly) that not everyone is like this and doesn’t necessarily put such thought into the words they use. A lot of people just – talk to say things.
That being said, the language utilized is coming from people I kinda care about. Could they know what they are saying and what I’m hearing? Let’s see what Oxford has to say about it, shall we?
Pronunciation: /ˈhirō /
NOUN (plural heroes)
1 A person, typically a man, who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.
Pronunciation: /ˈmôrdl /
1 (Of a living human being, often in contrast to a divine being) subject to death.
In the past 6 months I have been reminded just how mortal I am. I’ve battled plantar fasciitis, Ben and Jerry, and plain old laziness. Hell, I grew so frustrated at one point that I removed full Ironman, marriage, and Ph.D. from my bucket list, forever cursing all that is endurance related. Go ahead and check. Notice how 8-11 are still missing. The only reason I didn’t remove half-Ironman is because I already registered and dammit, I’m going to get my money’s worth from World Triathlon Corporation. Nope, definitely extremely mortal.
I suppose that does make this endeavor heroic, then. Swimming in open water is scary, and I’m doing it anyway. Red Rocket has all kinds of parts I don’t understand and I’m spending 56 miles with her. From there, I’ll have to take about 27,000 steps to the finish line.
Still. I protest. I feel like people typically use the word “hero” when they are referring to someone doing something they wouldn’t do. When I ran my first race, I was courageous. I loathed running when I registered for it. I weighed 30 more pounds than I do now. I remember waking up with the same nervous energy in the days leading up to the race as I have been this week. I was on top of the world after running 5k in 40:49, a time I’m fairly positive someone could power-walk if s(he) tried. I admit that I didn’t have the same relationships I do now, so I can’t positively that I would have been any less praised at the time. I narrow my eyebrows, nonetheless.
I think of my babies when I ask them to do heroic things, like share music and feelings with one another. I hope that they understand that I genuinely respect and admire them for making the effort to play the three notes that it takes to produce “Hot Cross Buns.” If risk is relative to the risk-taker, perhaps the application of the word “hero” is relative as well.
Maybe it is the cumulative heroism of this distance that makes it such a big deal. On those days where I considered quitting but chose to press on. The days where I had not so private meltdowns and lived to blog about it. I’ve had to fight my mortality quite a bit to get here. That’s noble-ish, at the very least.
*grins* Go ahead, y’all. Keep trippin’. I’ve earned it.