Running always makes me feel badass. I needed to feel badass after last week.
For me, last week was a week of getting knocked down, both at work and in my personal life. To be fair, when I’m feeling strong and when I’m in a great space, you can take all the punches at me you want, and you still can’t knock me down, but there have been a few chinks in my armor lately. It’s amazing how much hurt can slip through those narrow little spaces when we let it.
When I had the last minute opportunity to run the sold out Spring Lake 5 on Saturday, one of the oldest and most popular five mile road races on the East Coast, I grabbed it. I needed an excuse to get into a skull cap and pigtails and to get out there with “my people.”
It was a cold, rainy morning on Saturday. I’m not in great “running shape,” these days. I’m not in great shape period. The miles went slowly, my knees hurt, it wasn’t my best run, but it was the best I could do in that moment. I wasn’t on top of my game, but I was in the game.
I sat with a friend of mine on Saturday night, legs up on my couch, nursing my sore knees, and talked about challenges, and how this year in particular has brought me one after the other.
“You know what made Michael Jordan such a great basketball player?” my friend said. “He could get onto that court and face his opponents and overcome any obstacle they presented him. If he was playing a five year old or a high schooler, it wouldn’t have mattered. There would have been no challenge in that for him. It was the challenges he overcame on that court that made him great.“
And in that, I was reminded that It’s the challenges we meet and overcome in life that make our lives great.
I am someone who spent most of my life playing it safe. I am someone who, for years, put myself in positions where I knew I’d never fail. The biggest life change for me in the past three years is that I’ve allowed myself to fail.
The more I fail, the more I realize that failure won’t kill me.
I don’t mind being the girl that gets knocked down so long as I am the girl who keeps getting up. It’s the getting up that matters. Not the falling down. Don’t get me wrong, the falling down sucks. But I never want to miss my next opportunity because I’m too busy dwelling on whatever predicated the last fall. Instead, hopefully, I’ll dust myself off, and keep getting up.
Every time I get through a hurt, I’m reminded that I can get through a hurt. These hurts don’t kill us. And the more hurts I get through, the more I’m willing to risk the next time. In two months from now, I’m packing up my kids, our clothes, my laptop, and a few books about yoga and moving into a loaner house on an island on the North Carolina Coast. I don’t know if that’s something I could have done without a pretty big line up and risks and hurts behind me. Because as scary as it is, and believe me, there’s a part of me that’s freaking, I know that if my plan fails miserably, it won’t kill me.
The only thing that kills us is not really living.