I’ve made a point to get to know the new me and begin doing things that the old me never could or would have done. One of the activities that I’ve picked up is running. I always have flashbacks of the one time I joined my high school cross-country team because my friends all did it. I walked home sobbing, feeling sorry for myself, and convinced that my body was not designed to run. Then, I tried again after I broke my leg in 2010. Not having the use of my leg really brought me to the realization of how much being handicapped flat out sucks! I gained a whole new outlook on not having the use of a limb, as well as the shocking revelation of how rude people really are to those who suffer from a handicap. Anyway, I digress…
Since 2010, I attempted to pick up the running habit, though never making it longer than 5 minutes straight running or the equivalent of a quarter mile. It’s not that I didn’t possess the fitness level, even being extremely overweight, I still maintained a regular fitness regimen. I kept trying, even after I picked back up my smoking habit that I’d kicked to the curb in 2009. Since I was never able to regulate my breathing when running, the smoker’s cough further impeded my attempts at running.
After I lost 50 pounds through diet and exercise, I came to the conclusion that the weight had been holding me back all of those years and I should have no problem running. Lo, and behold, I still could not run. I’d practice every day and just couldn’t break through to that “other side”. I’d see women gracefully jogging down the street with a smile on their face, healthy glow, and not an ounce of sweat dripping from them. Oh, how I loathed those women. So, I quickly told myself that little lie, “I just wasn’t made to run” when in reality, I couldn’t break through the mental block that kept me from succeeding.
Since living a healthier lifestyle, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve found that I always made excuses, never giving it my all at anything I ever attempted. Whether it was school, or running, I would complete a task to the point of “just good enough” or spend more time creating the illusion that I had worked diligently on something without actually learning, excelling at, or retaining anything I’d just done. I would make excuses and push back until I could get out of accomplishing something to my full potential. What I didn’t know was that all of those years of lying to myself, manipulating situations, and deceiving others, I was really cheating myself. I did it out of fear of failure. Fear of realizing I’m not good enough. And fear of seeing what I’m truly capable of doing. Well, no more excuses!
I’m not sure when or how I started running, again. I don’t remember lacing up my shoes, or telling myself to start running. I think I was just out for one of my walks around the neighborhood to get a little bit of cardio in. I think I just started chopping and realized that I had been running for about ten minutes. I guess the frustration I had for not living my life to the fullest got me going. The next day, I hit the trail by my house. When I hit the ten minute mark, I assessed how I felt and told myself to go for another ten. Before I knew it, I’d run for two miles. I broke through that mental barrier that told me to stop after a couple of minutes. Now, I’m not saying that I look like those glowing, smiling women. In fact, I’m a dripping mess, with a red face, swollen feet, and painful grimace. That really doesn’t matter to me. The fact that I am out there running, and accomplishing one of the most difficult physical and mental feats of my entire life is what keeps me going.
I’ve decided to run a 5k every month of this year. I think this will be a good way to hold me accountable and get me out meeting people and experiencing life. I will make a point to update the blog with a description and picture of each one. I’ll give you a hint to the one for this month, it includes donuts :D
I’d like to share this quote from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers: The Story of Success” since it really hit home for the theme of this post:
"Those three things - autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying. It is not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It's whether our work fulfills us."
Thanks for stopping by! I’d like to know, what are some activities or hobbies that you’ve overcome in your life that you never thought you could accomplish?