FitNess: When Everything Was Canceled

I remember the first trickle of COVID-19 cases announced in the Chicagoland area. It was a Thursday, and I was told to bring home my laptop and whatever I needed for work for a few days. A few days. Fast forward five months, and I still wonder if I left an apple or a banana on my desk. My favorite heels remain desolate and alone, tucked under my desk. And, according to my co-worker, my plant has been lovingly overwatered by environmental services. (Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.)

And as I’ve become used to this “new normal”, I’ve also watched as one by one, things on my to-do list were canceled. My graduation. Any chance of going out for dinner for my birthday. My vacation. My friend’s baby shower. My half marathon. And now. My first marathon.

You see, it’s taken me years to get to this point. I’ve never promised or pretended I’m a good runner. I asked others how they knew it was time. So I signed up and thought life would tell me when it’s time. You see, Chicago Marathon uses a drawing and, in 2018, I did not get a spot. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, as I ended up having an accident and subsequently, a concussion, just two months later. I would have had to defer my spot.

Then, I got in. I knew in every fiber of my being this was it. I had just finished my MBA and was ready for a new challenge. I made the commitment, and have continued training. Despite being stressed and overwhelmed by COVID-19 and work. Despite extremely hot days. Despite every indication that the race, is otherwise canceled. And every day I didn’t want to, I peeled myself outside, and did it. But in the back of my head, I knew. I knew I would eventually have to figure out what I’d do when it was canceled.

That day is here.

What’s Next?

I set out thinking this was it: one and done. I wanted the entire experience. The large crowds. The gorgeous, and exciting route. The complete and total package. And then, I would be done. I will have accomplished my goal and close the book on this chapter.

But, it is officially canceled. We have been given several options. I can get a refund or defer until 2021, 2022, or 2023. I will likely defer until 2021, but even that comes with disappointment and questions. Will it be safe by then? Will the experience still be the same? And what do I do now?

So, I have a lot to think about. I am considering what other races are still available, since I am in the midst of training. But, we will see.

Time will tell.