Last Sunday we ran the Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio. Ray was hoping to hit his qualifying time for the Boston Marathon, and I ran the half marathon so I could be at the finish to cheer him on…and to hopefully celebrate. Ray did not hit his time, unfortunately, but I did manage to run a pretty good half marathon. The course was fairly flat with more downhill than I am used to running, so it was easy for me to keep going. At first I was going to treat the race as just a long training run for me, but about half way through, I decided to see if I couldn’t run faster. I ended up running a negative split, with the last 4 miles being some of the fastest miles I have run in a very long time! One mile even registered under 9 minutes! Go me!
I decided to wear my medal to school on Monday to show it off. On the way to school, I started to get a little nervous about wearing the medal. I haven’t really shared much of my running life with my students this year because my running life has either been nonexistent (like how I didn’t run from July until November when I did one half marathon and then from that half marathon until the middle of February) or super challenging. It has been hard to get back into running shape after so much time off. So since I haven’t really shared my story, my students didn’t really know I was running a half marathon last weekend, and I started to feel kinda stupid for wearing it.
But as I was driving, I started to think about how I allow my self-limiting beliefs to stop me from doing things…like training for and completing an IRONMAN 70.3. You see, I really can’t swim. If I fell off a boat, my movements in the water would have you wondering if I was saving myself or drowning. That’s how awesome I am at swimming. I took a few swimming lessons a year ago, but I really can’t seem to get over the fear of putting my face in the water. I can’t figure out how to breathe right when I swim, and I really, really, really can’t stand the snot that comes out of my nose when I do manage to breathe out. And then there is the fact that I cannot get a nose plug to stay on or my goggles to stop leaking. Swimming for me is just plain hard. I keep thinking there is no way I am going to manage to swim a mile, and then bike 50’ish miles, and then run 13.1 miles. So I make excuses and let my fear stop me from doing things.
That thought then lead me to think about the new business I have been “starting” now for a year. I have been dragging my feet for months now, and I think it’s because I am afraid that I will be successful, and I don’t really know how to handle success. I also think I watched my dad start businesses and struggle never really reaching success, and I think I believe that I am just supposed to struggle, never really reaching my goals. But this goes contrary to what running has taught me. I get to the end of these marathons and look back on all the miles and hard work I have put in to get to that end point and am amazed at myself. Fitness has pushed me out of my comfort zones and has changed me in so many ways. Without fitness, I would never have taken the first steps to put my business idea into motion.
That’s when I realized that I was going to wear that medal that day, and that I was going to learn how to swim. In order for me to reach the next level in my life, I need to reach the next level in my fitness, and that means I need to finish an IRONMAN 70.3. Getting into the pool and putting my face into the water will help me push past the next set of self-limiting beliefs.
I am way nervous for this next adventure. It’s going to be hard and challenging and right now, it seems near impossible. But so did running a mile without stopping and so did completing the Insanity program and so did running 13 miles and then 26 miles and then running a 50K. All of it seemed impossible, until it wasn’t impossible any more–it was done.
This is why health and fitness is so important to me. For me, working out is not just about looking good or losing weight or having abs. It’s about proving to myself that I am more than just this “little” person destined for mediocrity. I can do hard things. I can do BIG things. And I will BE big!