Crops dusting, marathon running, and chasing dreams


When I was in 5th grade I had dreams. Aspirations, really. I looked ahead to middle school and decided I wanted to play basketball. And be a cheerleader. I would branch out and try new things. It was exciting to think about.

Then came summer vacation before 6th grade. I can still remember standing in line for the river rapids at Dollywood while sharing my plans, and then having it gently explained to me that I was not the type to be a basketball player. I was not the type to be a cheerleader. It was not who I was born to be, apparently. And so I let it go.

I was an academic. I was a musician. I was not an athlete. That was that. Until 2 years ago when this crazy plan to become a distance runner first popped into my head. It was hard to ignore the little voice telling me that it was a ridiculous idea and I’m just not the running type but I try my best to drown out that voice. I got out there and put one foot in front of the other. And I’m still doing it. As I’ve already stated, I suck at running but I love it! I want to run a marathon. I’m not letting this go!

Tonight the hubby and I headed out for a night on the town (i.e. heading to the local theater to see Planes). And I fell completely head-over-heels-in-love with Dusty Crophopper, the hero of the movie. Dusty is an ordinary plane who was born to be a crop duster. But he has other plans and ambitions. He wants to race around the world. He wants to break out of the box he’s been pigeonholed in his whole life. And, with the help of friends, he does it.

Because Dusty gets it. You know who you’re born to be? Whomever you want to be. You know what you’re born to do? Whatever you want to do. Life is incredibly short. Way too short to be limited by other people’s perceptions. I’m a realist: I’ll never be fast and I’ll never win a race. But to be out there on the course with elite athletes running 26.2 miles? Yes, I can do that.

And I think I figured out my costume for January 12th… time to start looking for a Dusty shirt to wear!



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