I didn’t want to do this. I really didn’t want to do this. When Catriona came back to the office after an exciting meeting with Nike about their upcoming women’s 15 km run, I didn’t share her excitement. As she previously mentioned in a post, the good folks at Nike selected her to put together a team of people to run the race. As she was enthusiastically explaining this 9-week program to me, I kept drifting in and out of the conversation into my own thoughts.
You see, for as long as I can remember, possibly around the age of 20, I’ve lived with chronic lower back pain. The pain gets worst around my period. Furthermore, last year, as I was crossing the street, I didn’t notice the construction work in front of me and I fell and sprained my ankle, I’m still recovering from that too. All of this to say is that I didn’t see myself as a possible member of the #ccruncrew nor did I want to. I was very happy sticking to the status quo, which, consisted of regular exercise that I mastered and that I was actually good at. Why would I ever want to challenge myself and possibly do something like running that 1) terrified me 2) that I didn’t want to do. As Catriona and I sat down to put the names of her crew together, I substituted my name for Bugs Bunny’s until she noticed it and made me add my name back. It will change your life she said, you CAN do this she said. My reluctant self didn’t want to hear it. I kept focusing on the reasons why I wouldn’t be able to do it, reminded her of my physical limitations, why couldn’t she just “get it” I asked myself. I was the ultimate Negative Nancy.
Forcefully, I joined the crew. The day of our first group run, I was nervous as hell and was experiencing excruciating back pain. I couldn’t back out of it because the crew was meeting at our office. So, I ran. I ran for the third time in my adult life. I was frustrated, my back was killing me and I had a hard time pushing through. Annoyed, but I finished. That night, I got a text from Catriona. She knew I wasn’t happy with the outcome of our first group run. She talked me through it and told me something I never forgot. She said “You never quit Winy, you can do this, I believe in you.”
That same night, I started reading about Terry Fox. As farfetched as this may sound, I said to myself, if he did what he did with one leg, what was stopping me from running?
Fast-forward 7 weeks today. I have run over 82 km as I train for our upcoming 15km race on June 14th. This week, I ran my first 10 km of life. And Catriona was right; this journey has changed my life. It has given me confidence to go out of my comfort zone and to do things that terrify me whether I’m the first person to finish or the last one. And what I’ve learned over the course of this journey is this; running truly is a metaphor for life. In life, sometimes things are easy, sometimes they are hard. Sometimes you’ll have good days; sometimes you’ll have bad ones. Sometimes you’ll be joined by others; sometimes you’ll be by yourself. But the most important thing in life, just like running, is to keep going. Believing that you, only you can ultimately dictate how this story plays out.
My friend Christian who’s the fittest person I know, told me last weekend that I inspired him to go for a run the other day, that brought tears to my eyes. Little old me, inspiring someone else to run? What a difference 7 weeks can make…
Have you ever done anything that terrifies you and you’re now better for it?
Photo credit: @elainefancyphotography