Muscle-ing Through Another Marathon Metaphor

Yes indeed, it’s that time of year! But before we get started let’s just…c’mere.

PHEW. I needed that. Guys I don’t have to tell you that it has been a YEAR. We lost Bowie, we lost Prince, we lost our collective minds over this presidential election. I know no matter where you fall on the spectrum, politically or musically, it has been a difficult 12 months. It’s seemed increasingly hard for us to find the good in the world and each other.

As a professional marathon metaphor-maker and scrounger of silver linings I think I’ve found a way to look at this all that might help. It won’t bring Bowie back from that spaceship he’s jamming on somewhere out in the far reaches of the universe, or help you navigate conversations with the nation’s uncles this Thanksgiving, but I hope you’ll find it comforting. I sure have.

You know how muscles grow? (Because I’m making a point here, I’ll assume you don’t and have been sprinkling your biceps with whey powder, please bear with me). In order get your muscles to do something they are not naturally inclined to do, you have to break them down. There’s no way around it. It’s painful. But when you do, the injured muscle fibers send out an SOS and satellite cells rush in to repair them, making them stronger in the process.

Marathon training requires that you dedicate several hours a day to breaking your muscles down, so I’ve had a lot of time to think about how this applies to the rest of my life – how I’ve grown by doing difficult things, sure, but also WHY I’ve chosen to do them. Like pretty much everything else, it comes down to love. Love is what challenges us to do difficult things, and also what makes us capable of doing them. My teammates are doing a very hard thing because it will help the people they love, and they’re able to do it because of the love that buoys them along the way, the human satellite cells that rush in to support them and help them grow to meet the challenge. And that I think is the other important lesson we can learn from our muscle fibers. You don’t grow if you’re only ever breaking yourself down, and you don’t do it alone.

The TEAM has always been a place that’s helped repair the tears in my life, even as my actual hamstrings are being ground to dust. It’s always where I’ve gone to find the good in the world, and myself, and I am so glad to be a part of it for one last year. Yep, after over a decade it’s time for these fundraising muscles to take a break! But before they do, I’m trying one last difficult thing. My goal is to raise $12,000 this year, $1,000 for each year I’ve run. So, my favorite group of human satellite cells – can you help?

Good luck this weekend, you adorable flock of turduckens. If you find yourself doing difficult things (like, say, discussing immigration policy with Uncle Bob) remember to tackle them with love and plenty of recovery time.

Love and an ice pack on the couch,

Cait

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