Earlier this summer, I wrote a post about my fear and how it’s kept me from too much in my life. To remedy this, I began to make changes I never imagined, including becoming a runner. More specifically, my plans to run a half marathon.
At one month away from the race, I’m here to tell you that won’t be happening.
Embodying the idea of Chelsea ‘No Chill Ever’ Cummins, I dived right into running with the lofty goal of doing 13.1 miles the day after my birthday. After I signed up, my sister pointed out I should start with smaller races and work toward a half marathon. Obviously this is logical, but once I make up my mind it’s quite the challenge for logic to break through my thick skull.
Last night I set out for a three-mile run and contemplated the idea of doing more. The thought of all the miles to come, both that night and beyond, was daunting. I still wasn’t comfortable with short distances despite relatively consistent training over the last six weeks. My defeatist attitude began to overwhelm me, but then I realized something incredible: I’m still running.
I began running in early May with the Couch to 5K program. I began officially training for the half marathon the second week of June. As I finished up my final grad school project, there were weeks I didn’t run as much as I was supposed to, but I still averaged at least a run a week. Now in mid-August, I’m still running. Sure, I can’t run the full distance, but I almost did six miles once and that feels pretty great.
My life is a series of kicks dedicated to whatever I’m currently interested in or obsessed with. I start out strong and then they fade when I get bored or something else interesting attracts my attention. In the past, running would’ve been a kick that I maybe tried for a month but left because I wasn’t seeing results or it was still too hard. Typically, if something is hard, I shy away.
Saying that, I’m nowhere near where I should be to run a half marathon. Most of that is my fault because I didn’t prioritize the time when my life became busy. But I kept running, and now instead of the half marathon at the Montour Trail, I’m going to do the 5K. Three miles compared to 13 seems like a breeze, but I wonder what my training would look like if I hadn’t initially signed up to do something more challenging. Would I have shrugged it off as easy and not ran as much? Would I have put it off until the last week and then panicked when it was hard?
The likely answer is yes to all. If I hadn’t committed to the magnitude of a half marathon, I wouldn’t have taken a 5K seriously. I think I needed the drive to get me to this point where I could realize it’s ok to take it slow. If I gave up running, then I’ve lost what I set out to achieve, but by being realistic, I believe I’m achieving what I set out to do. I’m not giving up. The day after I turn 25, I will run my first race, a feat I literally never imagined for myself. And that is my motivation.
Other than running, I’ve tried to be present in every moment of my life and enjoy it without the fear of ‘what if.’ At the beginning of August, I drove to Tennessee by myself to see my friend Linzy. I picked up a few extra jobs to help with my financial insecurity. I started making really fun plans for September (aka a month long celebration of turning a quarter of a century old).
Most importantly, I’m seeing God move in myself and the people around me and it’s amazing. I feel His power working through me and driving me to something. I’m not wasting my life because I’m relying on His plan. Being led by His purpose provides the motivation to enjoy my life wherever I am. And it’s a good life.
In case you’re wondering, my sisters’ first response when I told her about the 5K decision was essentially ‘I told you so.’ Instead scowling emoji here.