Running (and jogging) isn’t something I got into seriously until my early 30s.
(I’m still in my early 30s, so…I’m still getting serious, I guess.)
Sure, I had to run laps as a cheerleader in high school and my sadistic college health professor made us get up early one morning and run a mile.
Sometimes–all on my own–I’d hit the treadmill.
Buuuuuuut, that was about it.
So, when I decided to get serious about running, my initial worries were:
- “I don’t have enough experience for this.”
- “I won’t be able to keep up with everyone.”
- “People will see me struggle.”
Perhaps my MAIN worry was: I’ll have to slow down. Take a break. Maybe even stop.
Well, once I pushed myself out the door to that beautiful track I told you guys about last year, guess what? Each and every one of those worries came true.
I didn’t have enough experience to just start running. I wasn’t able to keep up with every single person on the track. People did see me huffing, puffing, and sweating.
And, I did have to stop and rest.
With the encouragement of family and friends (and a little intestinal fortitude), I kept at it, and 2 weird things happened:
- None of those things changed (completely), and,
- I didn’t care anymore.
I was okay with that, no matter how often and how far I ran, there were still more experienced runners; couldn’t keep up with every runner; I still huffed and puffed and people saw.
But, I think the most important lesson I learned was: When you need to, it’s OK to slow down, rest, and even stop for a minute.
You don’t have to push your body beyond its current experience and limits, and doing so usually leads to injury and possibly even takes you off the track for good.
Isn’t that how it is in life, too?
- There are people with more experience.
- You’re not going to be able to keep up with every person.
- People are going to see your struggles and goof ups.
But, you’ll gain experience. You’ll keep up with some people, and eventually be able to help others reach higher levels. People will see your mistakes, but they’ll also see you correct them–and they’ll see your successes.
And, you can stop and take a break every now and then.