It was Sports Day at school.
I was running as fast as I could across the finish line of the 400m sprints.
I came last.
Despite my best efforts, I had known from pretty early on that I was going to come last. I could see the others hurtling off in front of me and yet, there was me trying to just simply get to the finish line in the quickest time that I could.
If you’d have asked me if I was a natural runner at the time, I would have said – ‘No way’.
But they couldn’t find anyone else to do it and so being the people pleaser that I was, I said ‘yes’ because I thought it was the right thing to do. Even though I knew that it wasn’t for me, even though I could barely sprint 100m.
That feeling of ‘failure’ has stayed with me for a long time – I’m bad at sports, I’m not quick enough, fast enough.
So I’ve dabbled in running over the years, but always stopped because I’m not as fast as other people around me.
Yet at the weekend I ran 14k – the longest that I’ve ever run without stopping.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to be breaking world records any time soon – it took 1hr27, BUT guess what? I’ve learnt how to make it work for me.
I’ve learnt that actually, I’m never going to be a sprinter. That I’m more of a slow and steady kinda girl.. Just keep going. That sheer determination to do it in a way that works for me.
I overcame that feeling of ‘failure’. I showed up. I figured out the best way for me.
You know what? It actually wasn’t that bad after all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. Getting to see new places, figure out new routes, discover parts of the city that I’ve never seen before.
I wonder what you’ve been holding onto? What you’ve been telling yourself?
It might be:
- I’m not good enough to get myself out there
- No-one is going to listen to what I have to say
- I tried and it didn’t work so what’s the point?
Maybe it’s something totally different.
Is there any truth in it though?
It might be that you’re trying to protect yourself. To not go back to that feeling/memory/thought.
However, what might happen if you did make it work for you? If you left that experience in the past, if you showed up and through sheer determination, you continue on?
Life is a marathon, not a sprint.