Today I ran the race I didn’t want to run. I signed up for a 10K months ago, and then race day came upon me quicker than I wanted.
7 weeks ago I had abdominal surgery that really set me back in my training. Even until the moment I stepped in front of the starting line, I had no faith in myself that I could finish the run. But I did. Although I felt weak and unprepared, my girls gave me the motivation to finish strong.
I think that’s the key to being strong when you are feeling weak: The right motivation.
I’m not a trainer, so maybe it was unwise for me to run that far when I hadn’t finished training for it. I felt great for the first half of the run. Thanks to my the helpful advice from my community, I knew to set a steady pace and was sticking with it pretty well. After rounding the U-Turn at the halfway point, I started getting bogged down with discouragement. The “you can’t do it” monster began telling me lies: I used up all my energy and I was only half way done. It was going to take me forever to get to the finish line. Everyone will be packing up and going home by the time I come through. I didn’t even want to do this dumb run in the first place. I hadn’t had enough time to train after my surgery. Everyone was passing me except for walkers and women pushing strollers.
I had earbuds in, playing upbeat music from a playlist on my phone. Thankfully, the next song that came on totally changed my mindset and gave me a much bigger perspective on not just the run, but my role as a mom.
It feels kind of silly to say it now. The song was Titanium by Rihanna. The lyrics are, “I’m bulletproof // Nothing to lose // Fire away, fire away… You shoot me down // But I won’t fall // I am titanium.
All of a sudden the run didn’t feel like it was about me anymore. I thought to myself, how could I face my daughters if I throw in the towel and quit this thing? How can I expect them to do hard things and surpass others’ expectations of them, when I couldn’t even finish running a silly 6 miles?
And that was all the motivation I needed. Fueled by a second wind, I set my pace again and pressed on for the finish. I saw the runners around me as comrades in the struggle to beat the odds and prove everyone wrong. I had to keep moving, for my daughters, and for girls everywhere who are ready to give up. Thank you to Rihanna, Beyonce, Ke$ha, and Ms. Minaj for getting me through this!
Now I know what it feels like to want to quit, when quitting is an easy thing to do. I know the temptation to say forget this, I’m done. If I hadn’t had that experience I wouldn’t know what to say when my girls are ready to give up.
Yesterday I was trying to come up with excuses to get out of running this race. How fortunate I am that I didn’t back down from a challenge. May my girls find the same gumption inside them when they need it most.