The Sunday before last I ran a half marathon with no preparation or training. How appropriate to title this blog the Nike slogan, right?
13.1 miles and I had mentally convinced myself that I would not finish. I was ready to accept defeat as long as “I tried” to run the race. I felt guilty that I did not want it bad enough, and that I did nothing to prepare. When we, my running posse and I, showed up to the Brooklynite Summer Half at 69th Street Pier, it was apparent that everyone competing was a runner, everyone but us. Everyone there had nice defined legs, even those with a larger build (take your imagination where you’d like – be nice).
I—I, we, us and everyone. I have been against a series of mental challenges with myself this year. Quitting my job, getting married and then moving to a new city has proven to be more enduring than I anticipated; unconsciously comparing my life to others, getting my feelings hurt, worrying and not worrying enough left me stagnant. And if you don’t understand what being stagnant feels like, it feels like death inside, soul—sucking.
I’ve been struggling to find my voice as a writer. I’ve stared brainless moments at the flashing cursor on the screen and have had several false starts to my writings. My thoughts have been as ☁clouded☁ as my brain dump written above. Get it out and let it go.
Completing the half marathon was the best overcoming decision I’ve made since moving to New York, it helped break a piece of my mental barrier and re-realize that in order for me to move forward I have to just do it. In this case, by “just do it,” I am referring to doing something, anything, rather than nothing which was where I was at. And as a side note, doing nothing not only makes you feel crazy it makes life boring. I have been a series of excuses and distractions, hurt feelings, and the kind of worry that left me numb.
I’m not sure what brought me to such a great mental defeat, but recognizing it and embracing it has been re-energizing. Any time anything good has ever happened in my life I was busy and doing something. I was saying “yes”. I was moving in a direction which allowed me to discover opportunities and take me a step further in figuring out what it is I truly want to do with my life. I’m convinced I’ll never have an answer to what I truly want to be doing with my life and that it will forever be an evolving interest to learn (or so I hope).
I guess I keep forgetting the break down and recreation of habit is a marathon process rather than a sprint. I’ve been very hard on myself the last couple months on several things. Running the half marathon reminded me that no matter how many times I fail or how slow I progress, I’m ahead of everyone who isn’t trying. That or someone younger is going to kick my ass and pull ahead. No joke, a 17 years old girl who I know I was in better shape physically almost beat me. Mental conditioning will make or break you.
In order to move forward, just do it.