Fear can be a debilitating thing. I am terrified of mice. If you want to kill me, hold me down and put a mouse on me. But, that’s not the kind of fear on my mind today. I’m talking about the fear that keeps you from doing things, keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and taking a chance. When I think of all the things in life I missed out on because of fear, I cringe.
When I started college I really didn’t want to be a teacher, I loved science. Phil tried to get me to pursue a degree in science. Since I didn’t have a strong math background, I was afraid I couldn’t do it. Later, Phil and I had the opportunity to buy an established, successful business, but we were afraid to. We had good jobs, good benefits, why would we risk that? We had the opportunity to adopt children, we didn’t. We were afraid to. If God had wanted us to have kids we would have been able to have our own. And I could go on and on and on.
When I started the Ease into 5k app, I did not tell anyone, not even Phil, who I tell everything to (except how many running shoes I have). I was certain that I would fail. I would never be able to finish the program, I would never be a runner. Why would I tell him? He had watched me start so many diet and exercise programs and stop after a short time. I didn’t want to hear “I told you so” again. I didn’t tell my friends because once I failed, I didn’t want to admit it to them too.
Somewhere about week 2 of Ease into 5k, Phil came home early and found me “running.” He was very, very skeptical and I do not blame him. I didn’t have a good track record. Once the dust settled from the disagreement we had, I made a vow that I was going to succeed come hell or high water. I had to prove to him I could do it, that I could stick this out long term. Mainly what he did was light a fire inside me to do it for me. It was time for me to stop being afraid of failing and just concentrate on succeeding. Failure was no longer an option.
In the 2 1/2 years since I started running I have been thrown several roadblocks. The obvious ones like work and farming. Then there were the shin splints that sidelined me for 3 weeks last year. More recently all the blood pressure issues I had and the difficulty finding the right balance of medicine.
Then there are the less obvious, all that sh*t that goes on in my head. That voice that says, “don’t run today, it’s too hot/cold/dark/rainy,” or “you really suck at this and are bat sh*t crazy for calling yourself a runner,” “real runners aren’t as slow as you are,” “you know people are making fun of you, right?” “you can’t run up that next hill, you never will you fat, slow loser,” you get the idea. I have a really mean voice inside my head.
Even with all that, I have persevered. Deep inside of me there is a place that I can pull out the strength, determination, and stamina I need to be a runner. Too bad it took nearly 50 years to find it.
Running has been great for my mind and body. I have lost 60 pounds since starting and I found that I no longer want to smack people after a run.;) But mainly, running has taught me I can do anything I set my mind to and to STOP being afraid. Running has given this 50 year old woman confidence that I NEVER had before.
Maybe my change in mindset is due to running, maybe it’s due to getting older. Regardless, I’m not letting fear stand in my way any longer and I’m going to keep running as long as I can. And if I ever get the chance, I’m skydiving!:) 🙂
Run happy, be fierce!