Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No half measures

I took to knitting the same way I tackled running when I decided to get into shape the year before my daughter was born. Full steam ahead.

That February I had decided to start running again. To motivate myself, I signed up for a 5K (3 miles) run in April. That way I'd be forced to get up early and hit the road for my training runs, if only to ensure I didn't embarass myself by taking 2 hours to complete the 5K.

I finished the 5K in 31 minutes - a personal record.

The endorphin high obviously flipped the crazy switch in my brain. Before I knew it, I'd signed up for a half-marathon in September. That gave me 6 months to go from running 5K to running 21K (3 miles to 13.1 miles). Never mind the special project I'd been assigned at work, that would occupy me for 2 months (June/July). Never mind the vacation to Scotland we planned at the last minute. Never mind the new job at work, which required tons of overtime.

In the end, I managed to complete only half my training runs - although I never missed one of my long runs (except the week I was in Scotland). Yet somehow, I ran that half-marathon. I not only ran it - I finished the sucker in a better than expected time! 2hrs 22min and some-odd seconds. And afterward no hobbling, no sore muscles. I felt great. Accomplished. Proud.

Same thing with knitting. After finishing the baby cap, which was our knitting class project, I tackled a garter stitch baby hat and scarf. Unsatisfied and unchallenged, I set my sites on something that would test my skills.

A 2'x6' shawl made up of 3 distinct patterns.

That shawl was my half-marathon of knitting. I started out a little uncertain, gained confidence in the middle stretch after getting warmed up, and in the final stretch felt it would never end. But I did finish, the same way I finished the race: one stitch (step) at a time.

After I wove in the final piece of yarn, I felt great.

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