When a good friend and someone I respect posted this comment, it hit me like a rock.
I’ve been feeling this in my gut for a while and as soon as someone was brave enough to call it out to me, it’s like the fear of admitting it was completely lifted. Allow me to kick-up my feet, lounge across your therapist chair, and pour my heart out for a moment.
It’s no secret that I’m type A, as are most people in endurance sports.
I put an intense amount of self-imposed pressure on myself to perform at a certain level, both personally and professionally.
I am extremely competitive – not with other people though, but with myself.
At times I am my own worst enemy.
I’m terrified of failure.
After writing that all down, it would appear as if I am a recipe for disaster and it’s easy to see why I always let pre-race doubt get in the way.
When I toe the start line of every race, I almost never have that pep talk with myself. I never find myself repeating motivational mantras that would help bring my secret dreams to fruition. Instead, I’m usually a bundle of nerves just anticipating how my body is going to react. What do I think this is, some crap shoot?
But then something funny happens. As soon as the gun goes off, I just run. All of my doubt evades me because I am 100 percent consumed in the thing that I love most. I feel my heart pumping and my legs moving, both taking on lives of their own. As I continue to get completely lost in everything I love about racing and running, the one phrase that comes back to me every single race for as long as I can remember is:
This is who I am.
Five words that bring a sense of assurance that I only get when I’m running.
As a girl with so many personal and professional questions about the future, it’s in running that I am completely myself and simply…happy. I need to remember this feeling and believe in it and myself, because when I do is when I’ll reach my full potential.
Train hard. Believe in myself. Get pumped. Lay it all on the line. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to fail because if I do (and I will), it’s when I pick myself back up when I know I’ll grow the most.
So from this moment forward, I don’t want anything to do with doubt. This is who I am and this is who I want to be, and I know I’ll never get there if I keep holding myself back.
Here’s to breaking 1:30, completing an Ironman, and someday, breaking 3 hours (I can’t believe I just said that out loud).