When I was in 4th grade, I told my parents I was going to run a mile. There was a field day at school and I told them I was not only going to run, but I was going to win. They scoffed. My dad was sure I was somehow going to die from it. I was too young. I was never going to make it to the finish.
The race was on my birthday. Guess what? I not only ran that mile. I won that mile. I had a 200M gain on everyone behind me. I did it. I went back and did it again in 5th grade. Take that, non-believers.
In middle school, I went back and forth between running and not. As many middle schoolers experience, I hit my awkward time. I didn’t know who I was, who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do. I just existed.
In high school, I picked running back up my freshman year. It was a God-send. I had a great track coach. I had people who believed in me. I earned the “most improved” award that year and got to be a member of the team that won the county meet and went on to do many other great things.
My PR that year for the 1600M was 5:42. Fast! Although, a part of me was just not in it. I could never win the mental game. I always had that voice (usually my dad) telling me that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t going to win. So, I would go out, lead the race for 3 1/2 laps out of 4 and let someone pass me at the end. I never won an individual first place. I believed I wasn’t good enough even though I was. I ran for 3 years and took senior year off. I wish I hadn’t. It was another 12 years before I picked running up again.
Twelve years, two kids, and 50 lbs later, I decided I was going to be a runner again. It all started by being enticed to do the Mini Marathon. Somehow I branched out and not only did the Mini but did another half marathon before it, another one after it, and several other races, too.
These days, I’m not holding anything back. I’m not letting anyone convince me I’m not “good” enough. I’m doing this. I’m getting out there. I’m starting that race and I’m finishing it with just as much vigor. I might not win, I might not be the fastest. That’s not the point. I’m doing this for me. For life.