You Can’t Always Get What You Want

Every time something that I really, really want can’t or doesn’t happen, I hear the Rolling Stones song, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” on the radio. In my car. It’s happened about five times in the last six years. I never hear that song otherwise. I always hear it when I’m cranked up about something or trying to make a big decision or wondering why I didn’t get the job I wanted or didn’t get to race a race I wanted to race. It’s like a message from God. He is telling me that I’m not supposed to do whatever it is that I really wanted. And that everything will be ok.

I recently went on a trip to Las Vegas with my husband for our 20th anniversary, and I took a picture of myself. I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t like the age that I saw – the wrinkles and lines in places I hadn’t really noticed before. I thought about NOT posting it on Facebook because of the lines and I didn’t want anyone to think I was ugly or looked older than I am (45) or that I think I’m all that when I am not. Then I thought about it and realized that I really stopped caring what everyone thought about me a while ago. I mean, of course, I CARE what people think, to an extent, but it’s my face and there’s really nothing I can do to change that. And I like it. During this process, I realized that I don’t like what aging does to my face, but I sincerely appreciate what it does for my soul. I’ve had some profound changes in my 40’s and feel like I’m the most “ME” that I’ve ever been. I heard it’s a fairly common thing. I’ve learned a lot from my mistakes, and I’m proud of the person I am today.


At the Bellagio in Las Vegas

My last post was the positive side of having an injury. To recap, during a track workout that I did WAY TOO FAST (my fault that I did not follow the coach’s pacing), I strained my upper hamstring. I bagged my next long run after 8 miles because of the pain, but I proceeded to run 15 miles on it the following weekend. I was determined. And I didn’t care what happened. And honestly, I don’t regret that decision.

After a few weeks, it became pretty clear to me that recovering from the injury was not going to be a quick process. The weeks until the Boston Marathon, which I qualified for by over 20 minutes, were quickly flipping by like an old clock with the number flaps. I biked, I elliptical’d, I avoided swimming, I did strength, and I stayed positive. I kept hope that it would be ok. I did not allow anger to creep in.

The day after an optimistic physical therapy session, I was to run two miles. And my leg hurt within a quarter of a mile, if even that. I ran/walked the two miles, and I burst into tears when I entered my house.

I. Can’t. Do. This.

I can’t run a marathon in eight weeks when it hurts to run a quarter mile. It’s not worth the consequences. I cried loud. All my pets were all up in my face trying to comfort me. Then I texted my husband that I will not be running in the Boston Marathon because I can’t even run a mile without pain. I cannot do it. I WILL NOT do it.

The weight was lifted. But I was extremely sad. Not angry. Just deflated, and very, very sad. All the hope, all the money on races, all the training that I carefully crafted. All of it for nothing. To be back to square zero. Ugh. Tears. I felt guilty. I felt sad. After I stopped crying, I decided I would do some retail therapy and run errands. I was a little on edge, and normally, I listen to my playlist in my car. But that day, I just kept flipping through the radio stations. Flip, song, flip, song….. it would be ok. Stay positive.

I went to a spa to get some makeup for Vegas, Kohls for some shorts and anything with sparkles, Costco for food, and Harris Teeter for more food that I couldn’t get at Costco. When I got in the car to go home, I flipped the station yet again, and guess what song had just started.

I burst into tears on College Avenue, and I knew I made the right decision. More importantly, I knew everything was going to be ok.

Our family had a decision to make. Because Boston is an exceptionally expensive place to go, we decided to forego the entire trip to Boston. Instead of participating in the greatest marathon in the world on April 15th, I will watch it on TV, and track those friends I know running it. The next day, we are packing our truck, heading to a Charleston KOA cabin on a lake, visit as much as we can in the area, and spend a third of what we would have spent on just a hotel alone in Boston. I’m relieved. I’m still sad. But I’m relieved. I know it will be ok, and running Boston was not what I needed, for whatever reason.

The aging process isn’t always fun, until you delve into what the process teaches you.

“You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes, you might find

You get what you need”

Categories: being epic, Boston Marathon, coaching, follow your dreams, las vegas, marathon, marathon training, qualifying for boston marathon, running, running buddies, running with friends, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want

  1. Oh Kelly, this breaks my heart for you. A decision like this is not made lightly and I know the hard work and sacrifices you made to earn that coveted spot at Boston. Hopefully you can continue to heal and get back to running when the time is right. Hugs to you

    • Thanks Pam. It’s so hard to be taken out of the game completely, when running is something I love so much. A lesson learned is preventing it from happening again!!! I’ll get back, hopefully stronger than before!

  2. I sing this song to our dog quite a bit when she wants something (like going for a run with me, but I’m running on the treadmill) that she can’t have. She isn’t as logical as you are though. I’m sad for you, but happy you came to this realization and are ok with the decision that had to be made. I am confident you WILL get to Boston again and it will mean even more to you as a result of this tough decision. Enjoy the time at the KOA with your family! xoxo

    • I should start singing this to my cats because they literally always want something hey can’t have, lol. Thanks for the kind words. I planned to put Boston on the shelf and do some other fun stuff the next year and build slowly back up for a fast marathon, which takes time. Like I said, it’s sad, but it will be ok!
      Have fun as you count down to your race and new adventures!!!! I’m sure stepping out of the classroom has to be pretty exciting!!!

      • It is sad, but it will be ok!

        Thank you!! I’m very excited for the career change!!

  3. Rebecca

    Oh Kelli- I so understand ALL your feelings, and have had the same happen to me 2 years in a row. Taken out of NYCM 2017 due to hip injury and then taken out of PCB IMFL 2018 due to both hurricane and then could not go to Haines City, due to my auto immune issues in leg. These past 2 years have been new for me to NOT be able to be in every race I want. I am older than you and being chroniclly compromised has caused me to reflect ON IT ALL- and I have had to accept I Do Not Always Get what I Want , but I have grown in the change that has happened with my body and accept now and surrender to being GRATEFUL to just be able to do what I can! I too, have cried, and felt sad and lost, at times, as it’s a true game changer. Triathlon has been my therapy in my 12 1/2 years of recovery, and it’s changing right before my very eyes. I have had to adjust and make new plans , I will continue to heal and try a few more races, but the reality had to sink in! I truly believe you will run again and stronger than ever, both in determination and the hunger you will have from being taken out of the game when it meant so much to you. Many hugs and I know it will sting when you can’t be there this year- but there will be another next year, you are still young enough to heal fully! God Speed and my heart ♥️ goes out to you, as I understand so much.
    All my best- Rebecca Moxey

  4. Shirley Jensem

    I am really sorry that you won’t be running thr Boston Marathon this year, but you will have a great time with your family in the cabin making memories.

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