Saturday, July 22, 2017

"Your Dream Stinks... I Was Talking to Her."

You would expect that someone who idolizes Walt Disney, has Disney songs on her Ipod, kinda sorta has a Disney blog, and quotes Disney movies on the regular would have a dream list a mile long. The truth is... I'm annoyingly pragmatic. A dream may, in fact, be a wish your heart makes. But a steady job puts food on the table. I've never really been a dreamer regardless of how many cheery, inspirational quotes I post to social media that would suggest otherwise. If you asked me right now what my biggest dream is, I would stumble around and eventually mumble something highly unlikely such as my standard "I want to win the lottery and open my own animal sanctuary" (which might not be so bad if I ever actually BOUGHT a lottery ticket) or something that doesn't really involve me at all, such as the Buffalo Bills winning the Super Bowl.

You know what else I'm not? Athletic. Not even close. As a spectator, I'm a sports fanatic. But personally I'm about as graceful as Bambi on his new legs, trying to maneuver around on the ice. So what would prompt me to think that doing a 5K (for the first time ever) with a ton of people on a hot summer night would be fun? The official diagnosis? FOMO. Fear Of Missing Out. My friends were doing it, and I wanted to hang out with them.

It wouldn't be a fun blog post if everything went as planned! It wasn't the greatest time. Feelings were hurt. And I made the ridiculous decision that I would run the entire thing the next year and be really fast and then I would do a race at Disney! I downloaded Couch-to-5K. I bought magazines! I bought running shoes! And what I learned was that I'm a really lousy runner. My body hated it, so I gave up. Well, not entirely. I just did a LOT of walking. And I got better at it.

And I continued to get better at it. One winter I signed up for a 5K and walked the entire thing. I was thrilled that not only did I NOT come in last place, but I finished in under an hour. And then I kept signing up for more races. And every once in a while, on the treadmill, I would increase my pace and run. For like a minute. And then I would wonder if I was going to die. But I didn't. So I would throw in a couple more minutes. And then I would be SURE that I was going to die. And I didn't! I would start throwing in a little bit of running when I was outside. I would get really excited and post my times on Facebook and then the craziest thing happened.

One day, about a year and a half ago, my best friend from high school messaged me. She said we should sign up for a runDisney event together. We hadn't seen each other in over twenty years, but we are both huge Star Wars fans and she had been running and even doing triathlons. (I know, I'm tired just thinking about it too!) What could be a better way to finally see each other after all that time? And... here's the crazy thing. We actually DID sign up for it! I mean, come on. How often do we say to each other, "hey, we should do this?" and then get all happy about it... and then never actually DO it?!

So yeah. What actually started out as a silly thought after getting my feelings hurt (partly because people are mean, but also partly because I'm a baby) actually came to fruition! We went to Walt Disney World! We did the Dark Side 5K together! We actually RAN part of it. And I smiled. And I had a blast. We had so much fun getting out of Epcot as quickly as we could. We high-fived cast members. My friend spoke in German to the CMs at the Germany pavilion. We got our picture taken with Ewoks! And I cannot wait to do it again. My body still hates running. But I am getting better, just much slower than most people. But it's okay. Because I actually DO have a dream. I want to be a runner. Or at least, someone who doesn't just sit around doing nothing. And I'm kind of there.

So I guess now I need a new dream. Or do I? I mean, the Bills still haven't won the Super Bowl. But every year, I KNOW that THIS is the year!

(Disney Photopass photo)


  1. Yay! Running really does get addicting. It's always cool to see how you improve, and that's really all that matters.