"Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate, but that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, handsome, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some; it is in everyone. And, as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne WilliamsonI had this quote on my refrigerator for YEARS when my kids were younger. I'm sure they probably never even really read it. I'm not sure why (or even when) I took it down. But, I do know I've never fully embraced the whole idea of being afraid I am "powerful beyond measure". I think I would say I'm more afraid of failing miserably.
However, like so many other things in life, I'm finding out the counter-intuitive statement is usually the right one. The last shall be first and the first shall be last. Whosoever wishes to gain his life must lose it. Lift your knees a bit and drive your elbows back a little to help you run stronger--even when you are feeling so tired you want to shuffle your feet. Run faster if you are hurting. So, maybe, just maybe, the idea of being afraid of being fast is what keeps me "slow"...or at least keeps me from giving it my all and therefore realizing my "full" potential.
No...I'm not going to be the overall winner in any races. But, could I be faster than what I've been telling myself I am?? YES. I'm continually shocked at my Garmin data. I am increasingly amazed when my pace is right around the 10:15-10:20 mark and I'm talking. Or, when I start a run thinking I won't be able to finish and I not only complete it, I feel GREAT the whole time.
Two very dear friends challenged me today to embrace the racer that lives inside of me! One of them lovingly pretty much called me out for sandbagging. No, she didn't use that word, but that's what I heard (albeit lovingly said). And...I think she's right. I think back to all the times I've said the same thing to other people...and I can see myself doing all the same things I saw them doing (talking the whole time saying a run was SO HARD, saying they weren't going to be able to go a certain pace, only to do it "easily"....and, my personal favorite, going slower in races than in training runs).
It's not success I'm afraid of (I don't think)....it's of trying as hard as I can and failing miserably. But, the truth is as long as I'm not trying my hardest, I'm failing before I even start. I'm obviously NOT very afraid of failing since I run into it with arms wide open as if to embrace a long lost love. Failure is my trusted companion, my comfort zone. Success on the other hand feels as foreign as I imagine it would feel to walk on stilts or ride a unicycle. (I did have a taste of success at the Xterra 5K I ran recently where I WON MY AGE DIVISION!! I quickly spit it out like hot pizza, not even allowing the taste to register on my buds.....but my tongue is still burned just a tiny little bit!!)
The gauntlet has been thrown down by my running buds...and I've taken it up! Rudolf Run. December 18th. 8:00 a.m.. The race is on. I will be RACING (not pacing) that day.
Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!