I trained - I raced - I won! My first race
I trained, I raced and I won!
Today I competed in my first 5k road race.
I didn't come in first but I still won...
I felt emotional…
I was 430lbs at my heaviest and back then never would have thought this day would come.
I didn’t let it show, but as I stood at the starting line amidst the other racers I had a lump in my throat that indicated this moment was important.
I never heard them say “go” but as the pack began to run, so did I.
Its a funny thing, racing.
You start as a community, friends standing in the cold New England rain. Looking at each other with the knowledge that we are out here and we are doing it together and then the race begins.
We spread out.
Dad’s running with their little girls in the back.
The fittest of the fit carving a lane that gets them swiftly to the front.
Taking in the cast of characters, adjusting the thoughts in my head and allowing myself to be present, I began to process my thoughts and get into a rhythm.
I wrestled the narrative that this is not where I belong to the ground and my other opponents become apparent.
Our most skilled opponents do not wear a number.
They are not part of the community and they are not good sports.
Our most skilled opponents are invisible but they have a name.
The well intended, unhelpful opinions of others...
Who are yours?
Maybe you will never talk about them.
Maybe you can’t go there yet.
I engaged a three step process today.
Step one, I trained.
I figured out what I wanted, why I wanted it and then identified the steps required to attain it.
At the same time I thought about the feelings, beliefs and habits that would, if I let them, stand in my way.
It is in step one that success actually happens.
You might think success is about crossing the finish line. Don’t get me wrong, it felt great, but that is not how I define success.
Success for me is about making and keeping commitments.
Success happens when my eye is on a race and three months earlier I don’t hit the snooze button. Instead I get out of bed, put on the kicks and hit the pavement.
Step two, I raced!
There comes a point where drawing a line in the sand makes sense.
Stepping into a subculture that was previously a complete mystery can indeed be daunting.
Allow yourself to have the mind of a beginner.
Take in everything and ask for direction.
Today’s questions included:
What should I wear?
Where do I go?
What do I do?
How much further is it?????
I can now say that I have run a race.
What do you want to be able to say you’ve done?
Step three, I won!
My goals for today were to show up, run the whole race without stopping or walking, to not injure myself and to be kind to myself.
As an added bonus I left ancient opponents in the dust and stepped further into the real me.
Layers are coming off…
There is nothing like being cold, soaked in rain and sweat, grabbing a cup of coffee and getting into a hot shower.
Train - For that thing you long for.
Race - Put your big girl pants on and get out there.
Win - Define what that means, do your best and be good to yourself.
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