Thursday afternoon I had coffee with my friend from Roc Solid Foundation. It was the first time sitting down with him since I turned down his job offer earlier this year. I was nervous and excited, but I knew it was long over due.
After we talked and caught up, he asked me a question in the way that only he can. He asked me if I needed anything. He asked me my goals for moving forward. He asked me what if – what if my life could look like anything.
Long story short, I walked out of the coffee shop inspired and little sad. Had I lost some of my passion along the way over the past few months?
I found myself asking myself the same question I keep asking myself about my running but this time in the context of my life. Do I play it safe or do I fight for myself? (I still don’t know if I should thank him or kick him.)
This morning I woke up with one thought. I miss being stirred and inspired. Now this sounds crazy coming off the best race weekend of my life that left me with an emotional hangover for days. I thought on my way to work. I thought some more. When I strip away all the layers, the thing that I miss the most is being inspired by myself.
I love giving myself to others. I love sharing. Maybe too much. I love thinking and analyzing. So how does this fit into this new life I’ve just created? I’ve created a life that provides the perfect foundation for living. But what do I want this life to look like?
I think it’s time to see what I’m made of. And there is only one place I always find my best self. Racing.
I’ve gone back and forth. Do I want to race? Do I want to race shorter distance? Do I want to stick with carefree?
The truth is I’m afraid to race because for three years I’ve come up short. It’s easy to hide in pacing and carefeee running. I have nothing to lose.
As I’m writing this I’m laughing. All last season my biggest struggle was that I couldn’t hide in pacing. Every run was on display for the entire team. Every thought. Every emotion. Every struggle. Belonged to the team. Now this season, pacing has become my hiding spot.
Do you know what this tells me? It tells me I’ve grown. It tells me I’ve found new strength. It also tells me it is time to build.
I NEED to race this fall. I need to risk it. I need to keep myself exposed. That is what inspires me. That is what drives me. That is what fulfills me.
I’m terrified I’ll fail again. So scared that I’m willing to use pacing as an excuse not to race.
But if the thing I love most in life is to give, is to help people see their potential, is to catch people when they fall, then don’t I have an obligation to them and to ME to stay exposed.
As my other great friend said to me, it’s time to Jump! I took one leap of faith earlier this year. I caught myself. I found my wings. I flew and landed exactly where I belong.
46 days until the Norfolk harbor half marathon. It’s time to leap again. It’s time to strengthen my wings.
(Blog Post originally appeared as an email to my running coach!)