Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Am I a runner now?

The answer is a most emphatic yes.

Exhibit A: A nice steady run cadence
I, for the first time, ran more than a mile non-stop. But it gets better, I ran more than two miles non-stop. But wait, there's more, if you order now, you can get an additional .31 miles. I went 2.31 miles non-stop to the hill where we were running hill repeats last night. I've never done this before (I think I'm repeating myself now), but it still amazes me. I've been able to cover longer distances with a combination of walk and run, but this is the first significant distance that I did as an all run. I know that even walk/run I was still running, but now I feel like I've joined the runners club for the first time as a full member.

Before I go too much further I have to thank three very special people; for without them, I could not have accomplished what I have. Juanita, my wife - without her support and without her encouragement on some of the darker days that I have zero confidence in myself, it would be an order of magnitude more difficult to pull off what I'm doing. To Coach Lesley and to Krista - I know I've thanked you both already elsewhere, but you deserve a shout out here too. These two wonderful and inspiring women kept me going when I felt tired and believed that I could do it last night. The value of surrounding yourself with people who believe in you cannot be underestimated.

Was my pace fast, no. Am I setting land speed records, no. Do I need to be running this slow for a little while, (wait coach, I got this one) yes. But most of all I feel like a runner in my own mind. Was I a runner before, yes. I just didn't believe it in my heart until I look at that chart and see that with the exception of the hill repeat drills, and crossing the street and getting back onto the trail towards the back 1/3 - that was all running.

I don't want to be full of myself, but I feel like this is a time to actually be proud of myself. This has been a good week so far. I dropped another five pounds and I've dropped a total of 112 now. I rode the longest I've ever ridden on the trainer inside and it really didn't bother me. I ran over 3 miles non-stop.

This is my time, this is my year, this is the moment in which I will seize the opportunity in front of me and rise up to new heights. There will be hits, there will be challenges, but each time I get knocked down, I will rise again stronger and more determined than before. For each of us can be more than our past, more than our weaknesses, more than our limitations, more than often what we believe we can be. For with belief, comes courage. With will, comes determination. With dedication, comes inspiration. See success in your own mind. There will be work, there will be tears, there will be joy. But most of all, there will be you on the other side with the memories, the everlasting knowledge that you chose to believe in yourself and go beyond your walls, break down the barriers, and be more than you thought.

I confess I struggle with these ideals, but that in itself is part of what I strive for. I strive for success being measured by me believing these things and believing that I am good. I may never be elite, and that's ok. I may fall short of a goal here or there, and that's ok - for I had the courage to put it out there and toe the line.

I'll leave you tonight with two final thoughts. My friend Krista sent me a quote that I now keep on my computer to remind myself from time to time:

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start." - John Bingham

And I leave you with this as well:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ... Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. ... It’s not just in some of us; it’s 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 own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." -- From the movie Coach Carter

I hope someone reading this who may not believe that they can tackle their goals or reach for new heights realizes that you can. I hope that I can inspire you to believe in yourself. To all of my friends out there who are striving for goals - each and every one of you ... I believe in you.