Run For: Confidence
While growing up, I never finished the things I started. Like little league baseball. I couldn’t hit or catch a baseball to save my life. I knew I wasn’t good. Frustrated, I left the team after a few games.
This followed me through to adulthood. I joined an adult soccer league. I wasn’t good. I was frustrated that I wasn’t good. And you guessed it—I stopped playing in the league.
Fast forward a few years. A friend told me that he was running his second marathon. I’ve never thought about running a marathon. I had only ever run short distances on and off over the years. I wasn’t a runner, but a marathon sounded like a fun challenge. I decided to sign up for my first marathon. I had no idea what I needed to train.
Over the next few months I woke up early several times a week to train. I was huffing and puffing my first few runs. Then it got easier. My first long run of 11 miles felt amazing. It was the most miles that I had ever run in my life up to that point. I was proud of myself.
A few weeks later an injury reared its ugly head (or should I say leg?). I thought I was invincible and doing everything right. I obviously wasn’t. I pushed myself too hard. I ramped up the miles too much, too fast. I didn’t know the training rules for a marathon. I broke the rules and was paying for it.
“My eyes welled up when the medal was placed around my neck.”
I took a few weeks off to rest and recover. There were only a few weeks until the marathon. I know that I wasn’t ready. Ultimately, I had to downgrade the marathon to a half marathon. Was I ready for a half marathon? I thought I was.
Finally after months of training, it was race day. I was excited and ready to run! So I thought. My leg injury didn’t bother me for about seven miles. Then it happened. The pain from my injury started. I stopped at an aid station to ice it. It didn’t help much. I was really disappointed in myself. Do I stop? How can I keep going?
I walked. People with canes and walkers were passing me. If they can do it, why can’t I? I walked the six-plus miles to the finish. I was hurting. But you know what? I didn’t give up. For the first time in my life I finished something I started. My eyes welled up when the medal was placed around my neck. I had just finished my first half marathon.
That half marathon started my love for running, even if it wasn’t the best run of my life. Since that first race I have run many races and met many great people. Running has made me a better person. I’m more open, have more confidence, and take more chances. You only live once. Don’t live tomorrow, live for today.