Two days ago, I eagerly aged into a 26-year-old
It’s not usually typical for someone to be so stoked on turning the random age of 26, but in case you haven’t realized, I’m not your typical individual.
I’m a marathon runner, and this specific birthday celebration is pretty monumental to me because today, I crossed the finish line of 26 years and .2 days of life.
Not to toot my own horn or anything but…it’s my birthday and I can do what I want (so toot-toot).
Trust me when I say, marathon runners are of a different breed. We are the select few with an undeniable passion that proves the ability to conquer anything we put our mind to.
I know what you’re probably thinking, “I can’t even run one mile, let alone 26. You are crazy.”
But what some call crazy, I consider passion, and I can honestly say there is nothing I love more in this life than running.
Partially because it allows me to eat pretty much whatever I want, but mainly because it has taught me countless lessons about the race we call life.
1. Stick With It
Would you believe me if I told you the first time I went for a run I cried after a mile?
Like, literally cried. I didn’t have the right running shoes and tried to keep up with my cross country stud of a boyfriend at the time, so rather than getting that epic “runners high”, I broke down and cried like a little bitch.
But did I give up? Not a chance. I treated myself to a proper pair of running shoes, ditched the boyfriend and went at my own pace (nothing but love for you C-Murder). It took me years to develop the running lifestyle, but I stuck with it and I’m happy I did because in my opinion, it’s the most badass part of who I am today.
Incorporating a specific skill set into your daily routine will help fuel you with the confidence and determination to conquer any challenge life throws your way.
2. Game On, Rain Or Shine
In most sporting events, games are often “called off” or “rained out” due to weather conditions, however in the life of a marathoner, you have to learn how to embrace the rain. This past year will forever be the most memorable race for me because of the fun little fact that I ran the entire 26.2 in a continuos downpour of rain, like a true badass.
In life not everyday is sunshine and rainbows, bad days are guaranteed to happen, and it’s up to you to push through the gloomy circumstances in order to reach that finish line.
3. You Are In Competition With No One But Your Own Badass Self
While competing in a marathon it’s almost impossible not to feel intimidated by the perfectly sculpted babe of a runner sweating alongside you. But it’s important to remember, this race of life isn’t about how fierce the ass in front of you looks in a stylish pair of spandex.
No, no, no my little Running Mermaid, it is all about how fierce you look while dripping in the salty sexiness that is your own sweat!
When it comes life, we must let go of the comparison to others strengths and really get in tune with our own unique abilities. Your individual talents serve a purpose to remind yourself of your drive, your ability, your willpower and all the fierce qualities your badass self has to offer this world.
In fact, rather than feeling the need to compete with the lululemon wearing perfectionist of a person you should…
4. Offer Inspiration To Others
High-fiving encouraging spectators, and sharing words of motivation with other runners helps refuel your energy with their energy and pushes yourself to go a little faster in honor of them. Runner or not, I challenge you to re-spark your passion for life by taking the time to inspire the world around you.
:: Allow me to motivate you with a Running Mermaid story ::
I always make it a point to rock a flower in my hair, because for some hippie mermaid reason, it makes me feel cheerful, beautiful and energized, especially during those grueling 5 a.m. training runs.
On race day, as I began to feel myself hitting “the wall,” I crossed paths with a man in a wheel chair who just began to embark on his treacherous 26.2 mile journey out to Hawaii Kai and back.
After 19 miles, I still managed to have a blossoming flower peeking out through the nappy-ness of my wild ass hair. So naturally, I ran right up to this inspirational man and handed off my flower with a smile, wishing him the best of luck.
I will never forget the look in his eyes as he looked at me and roared an empowering, “God bless you.” That simple interaction with a complete stranger helped push me to go the extra mile(s) with this newfound sense of energy.
:: The End ::
When you do good, you feel good. Make it a point to motivate others, and you will quickly discover the rejuvenating feeling of motivation to kick ass in life.
5. Music is Everything
My favorite part about prepping for a marathon (besides devouring endless amounts of carbs) is strategically creating an epic playlist. With its unique ability to transport you into another world, music helps sets the tone for a solid run and a solid life.
6. Nike Up and Just Do It
It doesn’t matter the circumstances, when you have an undeniable passion for something in life there’s no reason as to why you shouldn’t go for it.
I’ve crossed the finish line alongside 50-something-year-old Japanese women, societies idea of overweight individuals, and even a man with one arm.
So what’s your excuse for not challenging yourself to pursue your passion?
Yeah. I thought so.
7. Pace Yourself
The secret behind crossing a 26.2 mile marathon finish line is to pace yourself to grow stronger with each new mile. If you set out on the race of life with full-speed ahead, you will quickly grow tired, making the journey to the finish line more of a struggle than a success.
Fun fact— the last marathon I ran, I actually forced myself to slow down and savor every step of the way. I patiently wait all year-long for race day, so why would I ruin my special day by rushing to the finish line, when I can slow my roll for a minute and make every mile feel meaningful.
Enjoy the journey to your own finish line by pacing yourself to grow stronger, wiser, happier and even more confident with each new year of life.
Today marks 26 years and .2 days of life for this Running Mermaid and as I cross the finish line to the lingering high of my first life chapter (because I’m a writer too, duh) I couldn’t be more proud of the badass woman I am today.
And I owe all it all to running.
Running is what makes me feel alive, and sorry for being all caption obvious over here, but isn’t that what life is all about — being alive?
Six years ago, as I (slowly) began to fall in love with the dynamic sport, I began to fall in love with myself.
Mile by mile I felt my body growing stronger, my mind growing powerful, my breath growing deeper and my heart beating faster as I pushed myself towards new distances in running and in life.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the love and support you have shown me on my pursuit towards The Running Mermaid.
But today, I feel as if I’ve reached my finish line with this playful little project.
I came up with the concept of the blog during one of the lowest points in my life. It served as my creative outlet and means of sanity all wrapped into one. Not only did it help me re-discover my happiness, it also helped me discover my true passions and purpose in life, while sharing my voice of inspiration with those willing to
The Running Mermaid has become such a large part of my life, but it’s not entirely who I am.
With as much as I love hiding behind the facade of a Mermaid, it is time to face reality as Gennah Rodriguez and show the world who this spark of life really is.
Although this post resembles a certain finish line in my life, every marathoner knows the addictive rush of a “runners high,” and I’m about to find myself geared up at the starting line once more.
xx Fins & Kisses,