The difference of a year. It hit me this past weekend, on my second annual trip to Lititz, Pennsylvania to run in my favorite 5K race.
You see, last year, on that very same weekend, I had so many nerves, so many doubts, so many ‘maybe I should turn around’ moments – and that was just on the way there! It was my very first 5K (like, ever), and at 33 years of age, after having two babies, and filling everyone else’s cup BEFORE my own, I was scared out of my mind. Sure, I had trained on my own and logged the miles (Couch to 5K). But I was not prepared for the second guessing - it went into overdrive as all the ‘real runners’ started pouring in.
After getting over my initial ‘holy sh*t, THIS is what runners look like?’ reaction to the hundreds of toned, magazine worthy athletes all around me, I made my way to the start and prayed to the good Lord to get me through the miles ahead.
Fast forward to this past weekend. My mom and I attended, together, just the two of us. It was such a special day; the crisp air held a nice cool breeze. I had only a handful of nerves - mostly because I knew I could always walk the course AND that I survived worse. They made the race announcements, and then before I knew it, the race started!
It was magical, every single step. I felt lighter, freer, and more determined than ever. Over the course of those 3.1 miles, while listening to Iggy, and Bey, and Taylor, I reflected on the difference of year. And step by step, I was reminded that…
Consistency is key. Even on the days I didn’t want to go to the gym, or lace up my sneakers, or heck, even leave the house, I did it anyway.
The power of getting back up. After a late-night snack binge; after a vacation; after an illness; heck, even after the train was completely off the tracks… I got back up. Right away, not on Monday.
Focus on running my own race. Yes, my mama still whooped my butt. Y’all, she’s a freak of nature. At 60+, she’s running faster than ever. And she ENJOYS it. I know, I know, good for her. Either way, I didn’t show up on Saturday to keep up with her. Instead, I focused on my own rhythm, my own breath, my own goals.
Want to know what happened? Not only did I finish the race feeling much stronger than last year, I beat my [fast] goal time by over three minutes. And in total, I shaved EIGHT minutes from my 2018 time.
--- Oh, you better believe I did a happy dance while ugly crying. ---
The embrace after, just me and my mama, that was worth more than all the gold in the world. We cried. We laughed. We were so proud of the other, all the while being proud of ourselves. Such a wonderful moment, one I hope to always remember.
Hartz Physical Therapy hosts an excellent event. If you’re interested in running it next year, add it to your calendar now (first Saturday in October). And block the whole day – downtown shopping and dining after are a must.
My challenge for you (and me!): let’s run our own race. Or, in broader context, let’s live our own life. It doesn’t matter what Sally or Susie or WHOEVER else is doing. Stop the comparison game. It doesn’t serve us.
And... new program alert! I'm launching a digital workshop for busy mom's. It's called Your Best Week Yet, Mama, and will go LIVE on Thursday, October 24th at 1pm ET. So mama, if you want to go from stressed and reactive to calm and in control WHILE creating a weekly check in system that works for your life - click the link below!