When I was eight-years-old I ran a mile race. Well actually, to be more accurate, I started a mile race.
There I was at the starting line, in my green tracksuit, pigtails that my mom braided, with matching green bows. “I am going to win this,” I thought to myself.
When the starting gun was fired, I took off so fast that I completely lost my breath, starting panicking and had to get picked up by the police officer that was driving behind the entire race. I was brought to the finish line in the back a police car. I think I threw up somewhere in the middle of all of that too. My eight-year-old ego was not happy.
I remember my parents waiting at the finish line, very worried.
I got out of the police car, crying from embarrassment, and decided at that moment I was not a runner. And guess what, I was right.
In college, after the 1000th time I told myself and other people “oh, I can’t run”, “I’m not a runner”, I thought to myself, “why do I keep saying this? … What a bunch of bullshit.” There was no evidence to support this claim, other than the time I was a competitive little kid who ran too fast, freaked myself out and then gave up on running. Maybe I was just lazy. Hmmm. Let’s find out.
In my quest to see how right or wrong I had been for all of those years, I signed up for a half marathon when I was 24. A funny thing happens when you sign up for something … miraculously, everything changes. I became a runner, ummmm, because I started running. Funny how that works.
After the 10 half marathons I have ran over the years since then, I realized that once I stopped telling myself I wasn’t a runner, and started telling myself I was, I was right.
Fast forward to last week. It has been about 4 years since my last half marathon. On Thursday, I decided I was going to run another one on Sunday (3-days later), just to test myself (and my body).
Most days I wake up and say “o.k. body, we are going to run 4 miles today.” … and it listens.
Sunday morning I woke up and said, “o.k. body, we are going to run 13.1 miles today” … and it said “WTF?!, Well, alright.” and thankfully, it still listens.
A challenge for you: Think about the things you say you can’t do and why you say that. For fun, start saying the opposite and see what happens.
… And remember, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t—you’re right.” – Henry Ford