Have you ever been hesitant to get back into the groove of something out of the sheer (and silly) fear/admittance that you know you’ve got a pretty far way to go to get to where you were?
Yes. It’s silly, because what’s worse? Giving up and never trying again because you’re too scared of the struggle? Or working toward a goal, no matter how hard it is, and feeling that rekindled love for what you do come racing back?
Oddly enough, yesterday was a fantastic reminder of the exact opposite of what I thought it was going to be. It was a reminder of just how far I’ve come. Not how far I have to go.
I remember the days when running a quarter mile felt as though it’d kill me. My chest was heavy. I couldn’t catch my breath. My legs felt weak. My stride had no rhythm, and my mind told me over and over that I “couldn’t” go on. Thirty seconds of running felt like an eternity, and every attempt turned into a sob-fest, because I’d “remind” myself that I was nuts for trying to do something I “knew” I couldn’t do.
Many of you know why I left running behind for so long. I left it behind out of fear that it was the reason. Out of fear that it would happen again. Out of denial. Running wasn’t the cause. It just happened to be what I chose to blame. But last week, I took a step out of that uncomfort zone and back into my running shoes. It sucked knowing I’d fallen behind, but it felt damn good to be back out there. To be trying. To be pushing again. What I learned yesterday is something so much more important than a little bit of struggle.
Four years ago, “starting over” meant fighting that thirty seconds of struggle. It meant giving in to weakness again. It was thirty seconds of a constant reminder that I lacked self confidence. Thirty seconds of complete and utter denial that I could actually do this if I just told myself I could and actually pushed. Today, however, “starting over” isn’t just thirty seconds. It’s three miles. It’s still a little bit of a struggle, because my pace took a hit. But, it’s the same distance as my very first major goal as someone who thought she couldn’t run. Sure, I’m slower than I was a year ago. But I still have some distance in me. My starting over isn’t just thirty seconds anymore!!! My legs still know where to take me and how to get me there. My mind is stronger. More confident. My body is more capable than it was if I really think back to where I was.
Yesterday, instead of crying out that I’m weak or incapable…
I yelled out a rockin’ “WELCOME BACK!”