Yesterday I ran my first 5k in over ten years. It was a big deal for me. I’d run 10k three times a week in my 20s. My early 30s saw me struggle with depression and paralysis, meaning I was inactive a majority of the time. Reaching that finish line signalled the start of a new relationship with myself and I was ready for it.
It wasn’t easy mind you, but I did it. Made it happen. I wanted to stop and walk but pushed through. Gave myself a firm taking to. I’d decided that to be worthy of saying I ran the distance, that would involve me not walking at any point. Which, so far in training, I hadn’t yet accomplished.
I crossed that finish line without stopping.
This year I’d had enough. I’d had enough of my own bullshit. Letting myself down again and again and feeling the weight of my own inaction suffocating me. It was time to push past the narrative I’d conditioned my mind to believe. So that’s what I did. No more ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ – it was now.
I signed up for a beginners cohort with a local running club. I knew nobody. I felt anxious turning up to the quiet carpark besides the canal alone. Yet I was here on day one, at least willing to kick start the rest of my new life. It was tough. I couldn’t run for longer than a minute and felt frustrated that I’d let myself get to this point.
I persevered, week after week showing up with the group. Running a little bit further than the week previous. Homework runs became priority. Being an active participant allowed me to receive support. I was making headway and enjoying the process.
Regular running on a Sunday morning and once weekly led me to my first proudest moment in week seven. I ran an entire twenty minutes on my own without stopping. I was ecstatic! How is this possible! I felt awash with pride, tears and a surge of happiness that took me to another level mentally. That day, my mindset clicked into a new space and I was ready to believe I could. I unlocked a part of me that had been dormant and lurking. I found her.
When I passed that finish line, collecting my race time and graduation medal, I realised I’d come a long way. Not only in my fitness, but in myself. The woman I’d become and began identifying with wasn’t a part of who I was or am. I created her to fit in. To accept she couldn’t be happier. That the old version had gone and this is it. Tough. You can’t run. You can’t fight depression. You can’t lose weight. You can’t make your dreams come true. So crossing that finish line symbolised so much more than running a race. Capability within consistency. I moved mountains in my mind, body and soul. It was my own becoming and undoing.
Choosing to commit to yourself changes everything. I wrote about this in a previous post titled: “10 Ways to Practice Self Love for Positive Change.” When you start, know it’s not going to be easy. There are bridges to cross. Mountains to climb. Yet, if you show up time after time, you’ll look back and see the bridge in the far distance. The mountain will no longer be as high because you’re already half way up.
It was never meant to be easy. Leaving the “you” behind that you’ve grown comfortable with. Who believes all thoughts about change being impossible.
Yet, you have a choice. I had a choice. To see each day slip by. Living the same year over and over until one day, you live with the realisation you can’t undo your regrets.
You have a choice: Make excuses or break through the mould you’ve built around yourself. You’re only a prisoner of your own limits.
So it’s time to say yes to possibilities. To show up for yourself and feel what it’s like to live for yourself. Not within pages of books or other people’s success stories.
Action and inspiration cannot marry unless you pursue them in tandem. Being inspired isn’t enough when you still remain a closed door to yourself. Being inspired but not taking action leaves you in a dream. Taking action won’t last if you’re not inspired by what drives you. You cannot amplify other peoples successes and gain the same feeling of euphoria.
You have a choice. Show up for YOU. Commit to YOU. Choose YOU.
Life is a short journey. We don’t have forever. One day could be tomorrow, yet tomorrow is always a day away. Make today count.
I know now I can start by making the decision to show up. Thereafter, it’s commitment. If I can choose to show up and not let myself down, I can’t fail. Neither can you.
The question is, what are you going to do now?
Until next time,
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