I began my running career over 5 years ago. My running partner (Steve) can attest that the first couple of years I didn’t take it that seriously. Yes, I got in runs every week, but I didn’t push myself, nor did I want to. Steve said I was mental, and honestly, he was right. I became a runner at the age of 28. I had never been a runner before in my life. Yes, I enjoyed exercising (kickboxing rocks!), but I didn’t consider myself athletic. So, in the first couple of years of running (and truthfully a little to this day) I was holding myself back because I didn’t believe I could do it. Yes, I had completed a half marathon (and have 3 under my belt so far), and yes I was running consistently, but I wasn’t pushing myself to be faster or stronger, because I couldn’t wrap my mind around being either of those. As I still work to overcome some my ‘mentalness’ (thank you Steve), I look back at how I managed to hold myself back. Just a few short weeks ago I headed out to my first race of this season. It was a local 5K and in all honesty I hadn’t raced in almost 4 months. I have run, not as consistently or as intensely as I would like, but I have been running. Finishing the race in what I thought was a pretty slow time (slower than I wanted) I still managed to clinch first place in my age group. I was a little hard on myself telling my running partner (who can run circles around me) that I need to focus on my training, and that I got first because the faster “chicks” in my age group failed to make this race. I can still remember what Steve said, “You came out and did what you needed to do today. You beat everyone that mattered.” He was right. Even if I had run faster, it would have made no difference in where I placed since I was already first. It wasn’t a perfect run, and it definitely wasn’t my fastest run, but it was the first time I had come in first. I had to savor that moment. And I had to take that moment and turn it into motivation. This was NOT going to be the last time I got first place in my age group.
To reach the running goals I’ve set for this year, I have to get rid of the excuses. And they often come pretty easily. I found myself making excuses for not reaching my weekly running goals. Sure, sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate, or my schedule got chaotic, but starting today I have decided to take to heart a rule I learned in Camp Sanera – “There are no excuses, only choices.” Words that I personally need to live by. I think we can all attest to making excuses and in turn holding ourselves back from accomplishing great things. It’s time to stop telling myself what I can’t do, and work on what I can!
What excuses can you stop today in order to move forward in your own life?