Today’s blog post is completely off the travel topic, yet it is about a journey that has affected my life recently. This topic is something that is very personal, but I feel that I want to share it in the hopes that it touches someone who needs to be encouraged.
See, we can distract ourselves and stay busy with all the things we need to take care of in this crazy, hectic world. I am guilty of getting caught up in my “daily tasks,” but not always getting around to more important, and more difficult obstacles in my life. So this year, which my husband and I labeled our “Year of Stretch”, we decided to work on some particularly challenging goals that took us out of our comfort zone. While working on this wellness journey of sorts, I reflected on the goals that I had added to my New Year’s Resolutions list year after year, yet never accomplished.
This is the year I turned 40, and if I didn’t get serious now, when would I? One of my goals, the one that I soon realized I had written down EVERY year since I was about 20 years old, was to run a 5k. Twenty years? That’s so crazy. I had tried this “running” thing before when I was in good shape, and I could not do it. So what made me think that I could do this now, at 40?
You see, I’ve been telling myself for 20 years that I can’t run a 5K, and in fact, I told myself that I couldn’t run for more than a minute without feeling like I’m going to keel over. And I’ve kept faithful to my story. I’ve said it, memorized it, and lived it. It’s funny, but I realize that I have a lot of stories I tell myself, and unfortunately, many of them are negative. So why do I let myself believe that?
This year, with the support of a few incredible people in my life, I’ve kicked that story to the curb!
In 3 weeks, I will be running, yes RUNNING, my first 5K. And, guess what? I’ve already proven to myself, my biggest critic, that I not only CAN run more than a minute at a time without passing out, that I have BECOME a runner. It took me months to even say that. I kept saying, well I “jogged” today. Why did I have so much trouble admitting that to myself and giving myself credit for my commitment and hard work?
At times I am scared, I am doubtful, I worry that I’ll come in last, I worry that I’ll have to walk some of the 3.01 miles. You know what? It is true. I might come in last, and I might have to walk occasionally. But in 20 years, this is the year that I decided to tackle something that I’d come to believe I’d NEVER do. My wise 10 year old overheard me saying that I was afraid of coming in last, and without a moment of hesitation he put my old story to rest.
“Mom”, he said. “It doesn’t matter HOW long it takes to finish, what matters is that you DO it.” Wow. I know he’s right, yet I still let those doubts take hold.
This journey is not about the destination, but what I have discovered about myself along the way. I’ve learned that the biggest obstacles in my life are not time, money, physical pains, or work. My biggest obstacles are my doubts, my fears, my insecurities, myself. I’ve been holding myself back, nobody else or no thing that consumes my time. It’s me, and I’m responsible for changing that as well.
So I’ve changed my story. Next month I will tackle this goal that I set 20 years ago. I never thought that I could be so excited and so nervous about accomplishing anything. I realize that I’m not doing this for anyone else. It’s about proving to myself that I can take on something that is bigger than me, that I can squash the negativity, that I am more than I give myself credit for, and I can truly accomplish this and so much more. This is my NEW story.
Sometimes the hardest thing to admit is our insecurities. But maybe by sharing them we can work to encourage each other. Do you have a story that you want to change?