I post about my workout accomplishments on Facebook, and I tend to tell anyone that will listen about my latest run. It may be annoying, but I am comfortable with that. On a recent weekend stroll through the mall I was telling my Dad once again about the miles I had put in that week and the weight I have dropped over the past year. He said to me, “Just think if you had started running when you were 14.”
I gave it a quick thought and replied, “there is no way I would have done this at 14.” There are a whole lot of reasons I could give for that. I didn’t want to sweat, I didn’t want to run around town with every jerk in a 5 year radius making fun of my fat butt as I jiggled through the streets. I didn’t even participate in P.E. because there was no way I was going to sweat enough to need to shower in a well lit room filled with 14 year old girls.
The biggest reason that I wouldn’t have run at 14…I wouldn’t have been immediately good at it. I have heard lots of people say that their 30’s are when the really came into their own. I didn’t know what that meant, and maybe I don’t now but I do know that my 30’s–all 2 years of them so far, have my years of the biggest personal growth of my life.
I have finally realized the sense of self satisfaction that comes with trying, failing, and trying again. A satisfaction that you never really understand if you skip the failure stage. It is one thing to do something that comes easily, and a totally different thing to do something that takes work to get it right.
Some days I am so frustrated by how often I have to stop and walk. On those days I focus on how many calories I have burnt. Somedays I have no time to put into the workout that I hoped to accomplish. On those days I focus on how fast I can get my miles in. And some days I am so angry about how slow I move. Those are the days that I marvel at how many miles I can manage put in, like my first 7 miler from last weekend. So what if I averaged a 12 minute mile. I MOVED FOR SEVEN MILES!
My mindset has moved me out of a lifelong commitment to never failing to a place where my feeling of greatest accomplishment comes from putting one foot in front of the other. From a time where risk of missed perfection was mitigated by sitting on the sideline, to finally understanding the rush that comes with doing something that I never thought possible.
I have a long ways to go before I meet my many goals–physical, emotional and professional, but learning to enjoy the growth that comes with trying…that is something that I wish I had done at 14.