On a clear autumn morning, when the temperature had taken a sudden and drastic downward turn as compared to the 100 days prior, I stood with my husband under a huge inflatable green-and-blue rainbow that read RACE13.1. I woke up in jumping-bean mode and couldn't believe how excited I was to run a half-marathon.
If I stopped to think about it for too long, it confused me that I paid as much as I could pay for some good sushi to run up and down the highway until I matched the official length of the race. I'm still not sure it's a fair trade, the money for the running, but nonetheless, that was the deal.
The anticipation was great. Would I be able to run the whole thing? Would I be able to finish without being carried over the finish line? Would G really keep pace with me like he said he would, or would he get tired of running 11-minute miles and decide to meet me at the end? Would my mom and daughter make it on time to meet me at the finish line? Would I be able to walk the next day? Would I be able to eat any of the Finisher Food? (food allergies) What did I want for lunch? (Red Robin) What did I want for dinner? (Sushi!)
After running for 55 minutes, I requested a two-minute walk. G said no. Not in the authoritative No a parent uses, but in a Mr. Motivator tone that, honestly, made me feel like I had no choice in the matter.
I mean, I had a choice. I could have walked. I could have picked any point along the loop to walk. When my kneecaps felt raw, when the sharp pain in my hips started, or when my fingers started to fall asleep. But G was right, if I had given in and walked, I would've a) been so mad at myself for giving in, and b) not been satisfied with the race because I gave in.
There will always be a voice deep down inside that says STOP, YOU'RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR THIS. Or JUST GIVE UP; YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE EVEN TRIED. But we are not meant to listen to that voice. We were made to be stronger, tougher, BIGGER than that voice. For every nay-saying thought that floats through our day, there are ten positive truths that are begging for attention.
When that voice of doubt starts, have you ever tried shushing it? Have you ever said out loud, "Pipe down, I'm trying to live here"? We are not made to cower in a corner in submission to the negative; we are made to shine brightly and boldly in the face of fear, in the face of doubt, quieting those voices with the good and true things we do every day.
One of my favorite verses -- which has practical application even if you're not a Bible reader -- is Philippians 4:8:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.
When I wanted to give in to that mean voice that told me I would never be able to run the whole thing without stopping, I had to remember what is:
True--that my body was certainly able,
Noble--giving it my all is the best example for my daughter,
Right--I trained for this,
Pure--undeterred determination and commitment,
Lovely--committed spouses encouraging one another,
Commendable--having a goal and reaching it 100%,
Excellent--setting an incredible example for my daughter,
Praiseworthy--having the health to run all the way.
Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted today:
Give it a shot. Shut down the nay-saying and amp up the positive truths about yourself and everything you're doing today. Tell me it doesn't change your day and I'll personally bake you anything from TipHero.com and hand-deliver it.
'Til next time... :)