Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What does 21.0975km mean to me?

Tonight I took another step in my journey to the Gold Coast Half Marathon.
I finally bought my ticket!
I wanted to share my good news and it got me thinking about:
  • What those 21.0975km mean to me now?
  •  What they are going to feel like as I am on the journey? and
  • How will I feel as I cross the finish line and look back?
Right now I can only really answer the first part of that question.

What do those kilometres mean to me as I anticipate the journey ahead?

You must understand that I am not a natural athlete, I am an ironic athlete. I failed Physical Education in high school and then went on to study Exercise Physiology at university. I couldn't finish the 3.1km cross country at school and now run 16km for fun on a weekend.

So firstly, these kilometres represent growth; a separation between that awkward teenage girl who couldn't put one foot in front of the other and the young woman who finds joy and release in the breathlessness at the end of a sweaty Saturday morning run. In a way that starting line signifies the a huge step in a journey that I have been taking towards the person I am today. I know that it is not the final step that I would take and that I am constantly changing and discovering things about myself but it means a lot to me that I can find joy in a place that was once only pain and discomfort.

Secondly, those kilometres scare me, so there is a lesson in each step.
So many times in life we run away from that which we fear but I have found that when I am afraid of something it usually means I will learn something important from facing the fear head on.
I am scared of these kilometres, I make no pretence about being a brave half marathoner. I am afraid I won't finish and I will brand myself a failure. I am afraid that I will be slow. I am afraid that others will laugh at me.
 But in each of those fears there is a hope as well.
 If I don't finish, I still started. If I am slow, then I am still moving. If others are laughing, it is with me, not at me, either because we are all crazy enough to get involved in the first place or because we are all enjoying what our bodies can do.

Most importantly those 21.0975km are a celebration of commitment to myself.
No one is making me do this half marathon. No one but myself.
From this side of the starting line each step I take means I am fulfilling a promise that I have made to myself. I am making sacrifices and working towards a goal that is very important to me. I am committing time and energy to a dream that I have had for a long time and I am making it happen.
These are powerful things to remember when it seems that everything is out of our control and we seem to be losing a grip on the dreams that we have. If I can remember that I was able to commit to this, able to put in the hard work and take a chance that it would all work out, then I can do anything I set my mind to. No dream seems impossible if you can remember that hard work is what holds the star in the sky.
This half marathon is proof to myself that I am the one who makes my life happen, all I need to do is commit to the dreams I have and work hard and anything is possible.

In 61 days I will look back and I am sure that I will have learnt other lessons on the pavement that day. Today all I know is that in the fear I am growing, and I am committed to being there on the morning of the half marathon with hope in my heart and a smile on my face because I proved to myself that I can make my dreams reality.

Good luck all my fellow half runners and all those who commit to making their dreams come true.

1 comment:

  1. Yaya for buying the ticket! You are going to LOVE the journey!

    Just found your blog and following :)