I’ve hesitated for a while to write this post, but it’s time.
There’s a part of my brain that lives by the rule of “always leave yourself an out”: it believes when people say something is too hard or impossible, laughs along with stupid jokes aimed to put me down, and argues with me about anything that may require effort. I’ve discovered over the years that most important learning experiences in life involve defeating that part of yourself; without such a victory there is no growth physically, mentally, or spiritually.
That is exactly the part of my mind that I constantly struggle with, the lazy coward inside me that will use any crutch available to avoid doing something difficult. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people happy to hand me such a crutch.
“Don’t tell people that you’re planning on doing something like that! You’ll only look like a fool when you don’t do it!”
“That’s too hard”
“Normal people don’t run marathons”
“Runners all die of heart attacks” or “You’ll ruin your knees”
“You?! Won’t happen”
“The only way you’d ever see me running is if someone was chasing me”
“You’re one of those crazy people that run in bad weather aren’t you. Ugh”
People that say these things are probably just giving voice to their own internal naysayer, but mine immediately emerges from the shadows to start whispering dissent and listing off all the possible negative outcomes of the entire project. If I allow myself to listen to these insidious whispers I begin to accept them as truth and sabotage any good work I’ve done up until that point in time: everything goes out the window as if I’d never trained a day in my life.
…the lazy coward inside me that will use any crutch available to avoid doing something difficult…
Doubt is a wicked thing.
The dreadful little naysayer has been stirred into a frenzy this week as I prepared to put my name on the registration form for something that has been a goal of mine for the last two years: my first ultra marathon.
The most common reaction I’ve gotten to voicing my plans for to run a 50 miler has been a look of horror and dismay accompanied by a statement or question bringing my sanity into debate. Thankfully, my husband is neither common nor a pessimist: when I first stated I wanted to do this over a year ago his response was simply, ”Okay, let’s do it; that medal looks cool.” (I love him dearly)
The most common response to ultra running…
So today, I finally put my name on the registration form and made a pact with myself to finish the race regardless of rain, shine, or the inevitable blisters. My inner doubt is pitching a bloody fit but when it comes down to it, regardless of what anyone says on the matter: it’s me that will be putting one foot in front of the other and sweating buckets on the trail, no one else. All that matters is that I take care to prepare myself properly for the adventure and only I can do that: anything else is just opinion.
On August 23, 2014 I’m running 50 miles, and I’m doing it Paleo. Let the training commence!