The title is so cheesy it’s almost painful, huh? I couldn’t help it. If you gather nothing else from this entire blog, please at least take home the understanding that if there is ever an opportunity to make a Forrest Gump reference, you seize the moment. You make that reference. You let those haters hate.
Last weekend, I ran my first race. It was just a 5k, so i’ll try not to get carried away here. But I can honestly say that I have never pushed myself harder physically than I did during that race. I’ve had some pretty hard workouts over the last year and a half. I mean like hard. Bend over and put your hands on your knees and pray you don’t vomit on the gym floor hard. But running. Ugh. It’s just not for me. And people I really gave it my best go.
If there is one thing I am good at it is making people laugh… and this was no exception. So if nothing else from this whole experience I hope you all can at least get a little giggle at my expense.
Mile One: For the first thirty seconds, I was thriving. Momma has got some long legs and I was just zooming past all these people. Until I was about a fourth of a mile in and there was a hill… hmm. In all of the training I did over the past two months, I did not plan for hills. I, nor my legs, were prepared for hills. Also, keep in mind, it was 34 degrees outside. I couldn’t even change the song on my phone because my thumb was frozen solid at this point.
I also have very sensitive eyes. So about eight minutes in and I was full blown crying the tears weren’t stopping, it was just so cold and there was so much wind. As I ran past the people watching the race I could see the worry on their faces. “Oh no, that poor girl is gonna pass out and now she’s crying.”
Mile Two: I had a really good cold sweat situation going on by this point. Similar to the flu, but you don’t typically run while flu-ridden. This is the time that hill number two presented itself. If you’ve ever been to Nashville and gone across the walking bridge, you know what hill I am referring to. You aren’t typically running up those hills, it’s usually more of a saunter after an evening out. It’s hard enough to walk up it.
Mile Three: During this mile, both a 70 year old woman and 10 year old little boy passed me. It wasn’t my shining moment. I accidentally muted my music at one point and heard myself breathing for a millisecond and it was audible. I had crossed over to the zone of being so out of breath that I was wheezing. It was ugly.
My goal was to finish under 35 minutes and as I turned the corner and saw the timer, I realized it could definitely happen if I dialed it up a notch. So I started to run in the way that I have always reserved my running, as if someone was chasing me. I ran right through the finish line and proceeded to walk away from the crowd as far as I could. I could not let these people watch me hyperventilate after three measly little miles.
After I composed myself and walked out from behind the news van I was hiding behind to catch my breath, I was overwhelmed with such a sense of accomplishment. All of the ridiculous things that happened to me during those three miles seemed so insignificant because I did something that I used to believe that I was never capable of doing.
There was a time that I literally told myself I couldn’t do it. That I wasn’t healthy or strong enough. That I was just going to embarrass myself. And you know what I did?
I did it. I beat my goal. I ran faster and pushed myself harder than I ever have before. And can you imagine what a shame it would be if I didn’t make the choice to step out of my comfort zone. I want to challenge you to face something that you don’t think you can do. Face it head-on like the badass that you are.
At the end of the day, you just gotta keep running. Even if you’re running right into the face of something that scares you to death.