Once I stopped telling myself I wasn’t a runner and started telling myself I was, I was right.
When I was eight-years-old I ran a mile race. Well actually, to be more accurate, I started a mile race.
There I was at the starting line in my green track suit, my hair up in pigtails that my mom had braided with matching green bows. “I am going to win this,” I thought to myself.
When the starting gun was fired, I took off so fast that I completely lost my breath. I started panicking and had to get picked up by the police officer that was driving behind the entire race. I was brought to the finish line in the back of a police car. I think I threw up somewhere in the middle of all of that too.
My eight-year-old ego was not happy.
I remember my parents waiting at the finish line, very worried. I got out of the police car, crying from embarrassment, and decided at that moment I was not a runner. And guess what? I was right.
In college, I repeatedly told myself and other people, “Oh, I can’t run/I’m not a runner.” After the 1000th time I thought to myself, “Why do I keep saying this? What a bunch of bullsh*t.” There was no evidence to support this claim, other than the time I was a competitive little kid who ran too fast, freaked myself out and then gave up on running. Maybe I was just lazy. Hmmm. Let’s find out.
In my quest to see how right or wrong I had been for all of those years, I signed up for a half marathon when I was 24. A funny thing happens when you sign up for something; miraculously, everything changes. I became a runner, ummmm, because I started running. Funny how that works.
After the 10 half-marathons I have run over the years since then, I realized that once I stopped telling myself I wasn’t a runner and started telling myself I was, I was right.
Fast forward to last week. It had been about four years since my last half marathon. On Thursday, I decided I was going to run another one the upcoming Sunday, just to test myself (and my body).
Most days I wake up and say, “Okay body, we are going to run four miles today.” And it listens.
Sunday morning I woke up and said, “Okay body, we are going to run 13.1 miles today.” And it said, “WTF?! Well, alright.” And thankfully, it still listened.
A challenge for you:
Think about the things you say you can’t do and ask yourself why you say that. For fun, start saying the opposite and see what happens.
Editor: Jennifer Townsend