Love in Accountability
by: Hannah Dearth
Last year, after having my second child in October, I began training that following January for my first half-marathon that was to take place in May. I told all of my family and friends before I even did my first run after baby. I was so excited about this big new goal that I just jumped way ahead of myself. I have always had a love for running, but running this far while working full time, nursing my baby, being connected in various ways at church... it seemed impossible.
It was easy for me to attempt to back out pretty quickly after committing myself.
“I think I’ll do the fall half instead.”
“I don’t have enough time to run as much as I need to.”
“The weather is awful, and running this far inside is miserable.”
The list continued.
I was training part-time with a friend who kindly listened to my various excuses, and remained consistent with me. We did most of our running separately, and then usually met once a week and caught up on life, and on how training was going.
I wish I could say I did this whole race thing with my amazing willpower and perseverance, but actually it was with a lot of accountability from this friend.
Honestly, I know now that it is very unlikely I would have finished the race (if I even made it to it) without her.
My friend would set our long distance run dates. Then, for other runs, she would text me and follow-up if I didn’t make a plan to run with her that week. We would run sometimes at 6am to get a run in. At that time, I can’t say that I always took her pursuing me the way she intended. A lot of the times she reached out, her checking in did not make me feel loved, rather it made me feel pushed. It also made me feel like I was behind, and not doing enough. Like maybe in the back of her mind, she thought I couldn’t do it.
My friend did none of these things, and I am positive, thought none of those things. She is one of the nicest and most thoughtful humans. She was nothing but kind and encouraging throughout the entire training. All of that being said, I couldn’t figure out why sometimes my feelings felt hurt. I felt almost defensive, like I needed to explain how much running I did or why I didn’t run a certain day. She was SO motivated. Then, I realized the root of it... it was her accountability with me. She was always there to hold me to my word (with love).
Sometimes, accountability does not feel like love, but friends, it is the best kind of love. I would rather have a friend that speaks hard truths to me or pushes me to be my best, than a friend who goes along with me to please me and make me happy.
Because, at the end of the day, which friend is helping you get closer to the finish line? Which friend is equipping you to be the best version of yourself?
Accountability looks a lot like anything but love in the moment...but please, find yourself some accountability partners, and be that accountability partner too! It makes this race we are all running a lot easier, and a lot more worth it!