Monday, January 14, 2013


At some point in my twenties, I set three goals for myself that I wanted to accomplish by the time I was 30. Running a marathon was one of them.

In January of 2005 I started training. I was by no means "a runner." The first time I tried to run, I couldn't finish a mile without stopping for a water break, a stretching break, a "Gosh, I'm not sure what's wrong with my IPod" *wink, wink* break. It was both painful and pathetic. But after months of training, I finished the Chicago marathon in October in a respectable time and without stopping.

I learned several things about myself that year:
(1) I actually like to run.
(2) I'm fueled by people who don't think I can do something.
(3) I may be a skinny, red-headed middle school teacher, but I'm kind of tough - mentally and physically. I might even be - dare I say - a bit of a badass.
(4) I may not be the fastest, but once I start something I'm going to finish the race in a respectable time without stopping...because I'm a badass.

I'm never going to be the writer who cranks out four or five manuscripts in one year. God love those who can - I admire them for it. But whatever I write, I will work my butt off to make it good. I will rewrite it 348 times or ditch it to write something better if I have to. I will do whatever it takes for as long as it takes because (1) I kind of like to write and (2) this is my third and final goal and even though I passed 30 a few years back, I'm not giving up on it.

My marathon in 2005 was my first race. I've run twenty or so races since then. After having Baby Boy #2 in August, I ran a 15K the first weekend in November. I sure as hell was not the fastest in that race. But while training for it, the oh-so-wise lyrics of Eminem, Kanye, and Pink reminded me that it's not about being the fastest. It's about endurance. It's about training and making myself better. It's about pushing myself to my limits and then some. It's about reaching goals I set for myself and finishing the stupid race no matter how sleep deprived, hurt, or defeated I may feel.

Sometimes we want things done quickly. Sometimes we want to smack people who think every publishing story is like Stephenie Meyer's story, who wrote and sold her manuscript for three figures in six months time. And sometimes we roll up our sleeves, dig a little deeper and realize the finish line is farther away than we'd hoped, but not impossible to reach.


  1. LOVE this post! I've felt this way so many times and have given myself the same reminders. It's about becoming the best we can and not being the fastest. Thank you so much for that reminder!

  2. So inspiring! Your closing line is PERFECT for me right now.

  3. Good for you. I am so not a runner. Never have been.
    Walking: good. Running: bad. :)

    Stephanie Meyers wrote Twilight and sold it in 3 months? Whoa--I'd never heard that. I thought her agenting and finding a publisher process was short, but not the whole thing.

    1. (Hit publish too quickly)

      Or did you mean got an agent and sold it in 3 months. Either way, I'm pretty sure that won't happen to me. I like to write badly, then spend months and months (and months) fixing it. :)

  4. I can run five miles on a treadmill - does that count?
    I'll never crank out several novels a year either. But this is my journey and my pace works for me. Your pace is what works for you.

  5. BRAVO! I love this post. Bad-assery is about being the best we can at our own pace and being able to admit that we are bad-asses. I used to run cross-country but stopped for a long time. I'm just getting back into now with a 5K here and there!

  6. I'm sooooo with you, Kim! Man, I want to hug this post!

  7. I am so not a runner. But I do agree with your point. :) If you aren't in it for the long haul, you might as well forget about it.

  8. Great post, I love it. And totally agree. We have to work for those goals, and keep going during it! Would love your Kanye/Pink/Eminem recs too for my running ;)

  9. Absolutely true.

    I suspect that deep down, we love the challenge, because the challenge is what makes the success worth while.

    Might just be me, though. :-P

  10. You've hit the nail on the head Kimberly.
    Endurance and perseverance go hand in hand...

  11. Kimberly, I first want to say that I really love your blog. It seems like a warm place. Secondly, I love the message of this post. A message of perseverance. May I follow your wonderful blog?


  12. So well said! I'm listening to Pink right now on this cool new website I learned about on Melissa Maygrove's blog ( where you can hear it on a loop while writing for inspiration. So cool!
    I believe you're a badass ;)

  13. Aloha,

    Can so relate to the running thing. In 2001, I wanted to change my life, so started training for a marathon.

    While out with the running group one training Saturday, I was asked if I wanted to go on a blind date...

    11 years later, my wife and I have three beautiful boys and will celebrate nine years of marriage this week:)

    Endurance rocks :)

  14. I LOVE everything about this post, especially because now I'm breaking my neck while "Lose Yourself" runs through my head.

    So much of the time, I find myself frustrated by the process. Then I remember that I LOVE the process. And also because I, too, am a badass. :)