Emily Sorensen – iCan Athlete Spotlight – 10/9/12
I’d tried running before. I did a 5K in high school…once. I ran my starting, middle, and final one-milers for Farrell’s. I went for a very cranky run with my boyfriend on a hot June day. I was hardly a seasoned runner. And then I got a mass email about Coach Loran’s iCan program. “HA,” I thought. “There’s no way,” I thought. “I couldn’t,” I thought. “I guess that thinking that means…I should,” I thought. So I submitted my essay, most of which was about how I looked and felt like a miserable Zombie any time I’d ever run before.
A few days later, I got an email saying I’d been accepted.
“Well…crap,” I thought.
When we started our training, one mile was a struggle and two was impossible. As we progressed, five miles became “easy” and 10 miles became “do-able.” I was proud, surprised, and empowered. I ran 12 miles one Saturday, and it hurt, but I did it.
Then some pain set in. Not just “ughhhhhh, my muscles…” pain. Sharp pain. Bad pain. Pain that spread, and stuck with me long after I’d run and iced and taken ibuprofen. I walked around on my tiptoes for everyday activities (I’m sure it was a sight to see) because the pain of pushing off step-by-step was too much to handle. I thought a little rest would fix it, but after some time and lots of swelling, I headed to Rock Valley P.T. for a more informed opinion. “Looks like tendonitis has set in,” Danna said.
“Well…crap,” I thought.
More rest, stretching, ibuprofen, and ice were prescribed. After more time, I got the go-ahead to run a mile. Then two. Then three. I’m back up to eight now, and I never thought it would feel so good.
On October 21st, 2012, I will run my first half-marathon. I’ve been pretty discouraged not to accomplish my original goal, but I sent Coach Loran a message this morning about something that has been dawning on me:
I didn’t start this journey just to run 26.2 miles. I started this journey to run 26.2 miles so that I would change. And I have!!! But here’s the thing: I set out on this journey with a little glimmer of hope that thought “I can.” I’ll cross that finish line knowing that it’s all happened with so much more than an “I.” It’s a “we” - WE can
I wouldn’t be crossing that finish line if Coach Loran didn’t give of himself, his time, and his talents.
I wouldn’t be crossing that finish line if it weren’t for the team, meeting every week, all around the city.
I wouldn’t be crossing that finish line without the support of friends and family, their encouragement and understanding.
And I would not cross that finish line without three dear new friends – my little group of “non-runners,” my pushers, my cheerleaders, my “we-can-do-this” group, my “get-out-of-bed” squad.
We’re an often-sleepy, occasionally-limping, rather-unlikely crew…but we have a bond, and while our paths will be different, that bond is what will get us across the finish line.
Because we can.
And we’re going to.