Lately, I’ve been “training” for a half marathon, although it’s not quite as glamorous as one may expect. Calling it “training” makes it seem way more official and serious than my full hearted, unsuccessful attempts to run way farther than I ever thought I could.
But, somewhere in the mundane act of lacing up my shoes, putting my running pants on, and bringing along (faster than me) 16lb poodle dog, I’ve actually learned some things. They draw parallels to the work my job entails, and perhaps life in general, in an accidental, brilliant type of way.
Over and over I’ve told myself I can’t do it. Yet, time and time again I reach a goal that is big to me, yet often assumed as a given for others. I didn’t think I could run even 1 mile. I did. I didn’t think I could get to 2 miles. I did that too. And then, on it goes.
Here are some thoughts on running my own race – I write this to myself; and I write this to you because I’m sure you need it too. In whatever area of life, I think these things apply:
- Your pace is your pace. People are going to ask you how fast you went. People are going to want to know what all you’ve been doing; are you keeping up? Did you read this? Did you implement that amazing-cool-progressive thing? There is no use feeling shame in what you can and are doing. Your place is your place; your pace is your pace. Don’t indulge the conversation. Don’t allow others to let themselves or yourself base your achievement on an attribute that is less than worthy. Be confident in what you can do; and don’t let anyone take any piece of that away from you.
- Don’t compare yourself. Don’t. Do. It. I know you’re tempted to watch that skinny, strong girl, or that lady who is probably 80 as they pass you up. You want to think about how you are so weak and incapable, and somewhere in that thought process you start to feel pathetic and bad about yourself. Don’t. Compare. You showed up. You are giving it your best. THE. END.
- When you want to quit, you’re just getting started. I’m coming to see more and more that as things get hard and I just want to give up, maybe I’m actually on the brink of something bigger. Right as the struggle becomes too much to bear, I’ve been feeling the need to cry for the past 30 minutes of running/existing, and all I can think about is how much I hate this. Maybe in those moments of sitting on the side of the road thinking you can’t go on – THAT is precisely where your strength begins. Life isn’t meant to be easy or breezy; it is meant to be hard & messy. Remember where your Strength is. It’s not found just in you.
I run the half marathon in 2 weeks. As much as I’ve accomplished in my training so far, I know that it’s going to be an emotionally difficult day because the thief of joy – comparison – will be lurking around in every corner. It’s not that other people purposely make me feel less than, but it’s that I so readily give into these lies and thought processes. Therefore, I’m arming myself; mentally and emotionally preparing my confidence, remembering where my Strength is, remembering who I am.
What are some areas of your life where you need to remind yourself to run your own race?