Everything Else Will Be Easy

 

Meditations in Motion

OK, I think Amby might be exaggerating just a little bit. I don’t know that everything else will be easy. Childbirth, for example, is not easy, no matter whether you are a runner or not. Although as a man, Amby never gave birth to a child, so he wouldn’t know. Maybe a more accurate quote would be “everything else will be easier.” That doesn’t flow quite as well as the original. Anyway, point well taken, Amby.

Running can give you the confidence to do difficult things. I know I have survived miles that were less than pleasant. My experiences as a runner have taught me that I can keep going even when I feel like quitting. The trick is to be able to detach from the situation and learn to let go.

Meditations in Motion

As somewhat of a control freak, it is not easy to let go. I think I must be in charge of every situation. I sometimes need to talk myself off the ledge and acknowledge that I must step back to see how things play out, rather than trying to exert my influence on everything around me all the time. The only thing I can control is me (and sometimes even that is a stretch). Trying to control everything is exhausting, believe me, I know. When I remind myself to let go, I can almost feel my cortisol (stress hormone) levels decreasing. How many times did my mom council me “Be patient“?

Meditations in Motion

Last year a friend asked me to run Comrades Marathon in South Africa with her. Comrades is an interesting race. Some marathon runners (myself included) get impatient when a non-runner askes them how long a particular marathon is. One of my running friends rants “It’s 26.2 miles! Every marathon is 26.2 miles!!!” But not Comrades. Comrades is approximately 56 miles, more than twice the length of a typical marathon.

Meditations in Motion

As if the length of the race is not daunting enough, there is also a time limit. You must pass various checkpoints in a specified amount of time, or your race is over. You must be able to finish the entire race in 12 hours. A person with a horn stands at these checkpoints with his back to the runners so he is not influenced by runners he may see approaching him. At the prescribed time he blows the horn. Every runner who has not passed him is done. They must ride a shuttle to the finish line.

I declined the invitation mostly because I was afraid I couldn’t finish the race in 12 hours. I denied myself the possibility of even trying to accomplish that goal. I allowed my belief to limit me, to define who I am. If I think “I can’t do it“, I am right. Fear closes the doors to interesting and exciting possibilities.

Part of being able to let go is having the confidence that everything will be alright if you do, regardless of the outcome. I also have to acknowledge that I don’t always know what is best for me. Facing fears and overcoming difficult situations builds confidence. If I try to run the race and succeed, I have faced my fear and am proud of my accomplishment. If I try to run the race and fail to finish, I have faced my fear and am still proud of myself for attempting a challenging race. If I don’t even try, I am left to second guess my decision and regret a missed opportunity.

Meditations in Motion

My friend did not finish Comrades. She missed the cutoff time at the mile 42 checkpoint by 30 seconds. She still had an adventure, a wonderful experience, and a fantastic vacation in an exotic location. She has every reason to be proud of herself, and I believe she is. Undaunted, she is considering doing the race again two years from now. If she asks again if I want to go with her, I will have my answer ready.

Tell me, what challenge is out there calling to you? What is that one crazy, scary thing that you just can’t put out of your mind? What would happen if you tried it and failed? What are you afraid of?

 

I am linking up with Patty, Erika, and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run. Love these running-related blogs! I am linking up with Shank You Very Much for her Dream Team link up. I am also linking up with Nicole and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday. I am joining Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs Β for the Coaches’ Corner linkup! I am linking with Random-osity for Little Things Thursdays link up. I am linking up with It’s a Small Town Life for Thankful Thursday. I am linking up with Anna Nuttall for her Bloggers Link Up. I am linking up with Jessica and Amy at Live Life Well. If you like this post, you may want to visit to read what other bloggers have to say! I am linking up with Jamie Sumner for Sunday Thoughts. Visit here for faith-based posts from many other bloggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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53 comments

  1. Fear of failure is real; we all suffer from it!

    Doing my first (and only) trail half was scary — there was a time limit, and I wasn’t sure I would make it. I’m definitely really slow on trails. And of course I didn’t train on trails that much — like twice a week for a month! But I finished well within the time limit, thankfully.

    Of course doing my first race — and every first distance — was scary too! And knowing I’ll tackle 18.12 miles after my upcoming half — with just a month between races — that’s scary too!

    OTOH, there have been times I’ve let fear stop me, for sure. I think we all do sometimes. But running does teach us that we can push through so much more than we thought we could!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Taking that first step is always the scariest part. The 18.12 mile race sounds interesting. I love running distances close to that – between half and marathon distance. I am excited to hear how it goes for you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, you always give me food for thought!! Right now running any distance beyond 6-8 miles is a challenge for me. It’s a little frustrating. A marathon isn’t even an option at this point. I keep praying for a miracle! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • It does give you a quiet, alone time to think. My children are all grown now, however. I have more time to run than when I had youngsters like you do! πŸ™‚

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  3. Playing the devil’s advocate here, in my genial-curmudgeon way: it’s true that we can let fear stop us, and I have certainly done so and regretted it. But sometimes what we may think of as fear is actually wisdom. The big trick is telling the difference.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. oh wow – i would have been discouraged to have missed the cut off by that short amount of time. your friend sounds like an incredible person, already looking forward to another opportunity to try again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ragnar sounds so cool. It is definitely on my list. I have done other relays, but never one that long. I think the one you did ran right through my neck of the woods (Lancaster County).

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  5. My philosophy is the reverse of Amby’s. I tell the athletes I coach that they’ve done harder things than a marathon. Marathons are hard, and they hurt but I think running is fair. You typically get out what you put in. Life is not always fair and sometimes we put in so much with little to no return. The thing that really terrified me was triathlon because of the swim. Until 3 years ago I could not swim a single stroke. I had to be pulled from the water when I was a teen and since then I’d only go in up to my knees. But then I slayed that dragon. I still don’t love or even like swimming, but dammit I can DO it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! Love your take on swimming! Congrats on the tri. I love to swim, and am doing more of it now since I am injured. The bike was the part of the tri that I didn’t love. I am a fan of your “running is fair” philosophy! πŸ™‚

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  6. Those 56 miles sound daunting, yet intriguing LOL I did a 12-hour ultra once, and I made it to 37 miles, but I did a lot of walking because I was just getting over Plantar Fasciitis and my hammy had a recent flare (due to its owner wearing faulty shoes on a trail run). Although I think I could have made it to (maybe 50 miles), those extra six miles for the Comrades would be t.o.u.g.h. As always, a great thought-provoking post πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have never gone over 50k, so it will be a real stretch for me. A 12 hour race may be a great training run. Trails are so much easier on my body than roads. Thank you for the comment!

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  7. I never had the desire to run an ultra but I’m not sure whether that was fear of failure or just disinterest. These days even a marathon sounds daunting, though I think it’s the training rather than the race itself.

    When I coached cross country I got to see Amby’s statement at its purest level. Running is great for taking a scared 13 year old and turning them into a confident young adult.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Training is definitely time-consuming. I actually train less and feel less beat up for a trail 50k than a road marathon. That said, they are not for everyone! Love your comment about the cross country coaching!

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  8. That is a serious challenge! I’d probably say no not out of fear of not finished but out of simply not wanting to train for that distance. haha That said, I completely agree we are our own biggest barrier when it comes to progress and deciding what we can and cannot do. Kudos to you for realizing you let fear stand in the way and preparing yourself to face the challenge in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Your posts always make me reflect hard! I know there are so many things I have not done for fear of failing. Every year I get a bit better at pushing myself out of my comfort zone. So I am proud of that but I need to keep pushing as its easy to fall back into the “fear zone”. If you do make it to Comrades you have to let me know – would be great to meet a fellow blogger!! I know someone who completed it a few weeks ago. I think she did it in around 10 hours! She too never believed she could, until she tried and did.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thirty seconds… Thirty, little piddly seconds. Man. Talk about “close but no cigar.” Kudos to your friend for 1) having the guts to try it and 2) to keep chasing that dream down.

    I would like to hike a portion of the Camino de Santiago in Spain, that’s the “thing” that has called me consistently over the years. One day I’ll get there. πŸ™‚

    Visting from Little Things Thursday
    https://edb214.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooooh! The Camino is on my list too. Very appealing. Hubby and I were going to do a portion this year but opted for a different destination instead. Maybe next year for me.

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  11. I love the photos you’ve shared! I hike ….be myself. I know that might not sound like a big deal but it seems a little scary to me so I keep doing it! I hiked the Florida Trails yesterday….the only others I saw were a few mountain bikes.

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  12. I certainly don’t run as much as I used to, but there is nothing like it for fitness and mental health. It was always that quiet time for me. A moment to clear my head after a long day of teaching. Thanks for linking up today.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What you say about fear of failure is very true! I often get through challenges by telling myself I ran a particular hill and then did hill repeats! If I can do that, I can do this!!🀣

    Liked by 1 person

  14. My life has always had fear as the largest obstical. As the Father is leading me though my “year of fearless” I can see how much of a hold it has had on me. I am learning so much about myself, who I really am rather than who someone else shaped me to be. Mine is more a fear of failure and fear of rejection, but is still very real, and very hard to fight.

    Thank you for the encouragement and wonderful reminder.

    Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell

    Blessings,

    Amy

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think so many women have a fear of failure, a need for perfection. So glad you are dedicated to a “year of fearless”. God will lead you in the right direction. Thanks for the opportunity to ling up!

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  15. One of the things I love about running is the fact that you can mentally and physically see that you are capable of so much more than you imagined. When you feel like you can’t take another step, you do. It prepares you to do hard things. I don’t know of any big scary things that are in my path right now. There is something in the future that is going to be crazy wild that I feel like God has revealed to me, but it’s so far off I haven’t had a chance to fear it too much yet. Thank you for sharing your thought provoking wisdom with us at #LiveLifeWell.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I love this, Laurie. I can relate to this so much – in how hard it is to let go – and then how much better I feel when I DO let go, trust God and just let things play out. It takes me a while to get there, though! This was a great post – and I cannot even imagine that race in South Africa! Incredible. Your friend has an amazing attitude. I think I would have been totally crushed, but I have a lot to learn from her perspective! Thanks for sharing! I’m really enjoying your writing, Laurie! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your comment! Coming from an excellent writer, I take that as high praise! πŸ™‚ My friend IS an amazing woman. I have learned so much from her over the years.

      Liked by 1 person

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