I’m not a self-confident person. At all. I have difficulty believing or thinking good things about myself, in fact I feel guilty when I do because when I think something nice about myself it feels like a lie. In my head I negate every achievement or compliment by downplaying it or making excuses for it. As I get older I’ve been getting better at being kinder to myself, although it’s still a struggle.
Except when it comes to running.
There’s something about running that turns my self-confidence (or lack thereof) upside down. I don’t recognise myself when it comes to running. There is absolutely nothing in me that even wants to negate my running and what I’m capable of. I haven’t even considered downplaying it.
My usual route is 3.1km long, mostly alongside a river in the middle of a city. I run in a loop from one bridge to another. So on my running nights, I walk (briskly!) for a bit until I get to a certain lamp post on the river then I start running. I’ve been pushing myself each time to go a bit further, or a bit faster, or run uphill, and each time I managed to achieve the goal I set for myself. And each time I can’t keep the smile off my face for it.
One night earlier this week, I left for my run, and decided rather spontaneously, to start running right away. I managed to run my entire 3.1km route, including a fairly steep uphill at the end. When I got home I could have danced for joy (if my legs hadn’t been like jello that is!)!
Sometimes, I look over my route and I think ‘wow, I run that. I run that!” There is no way to negate it, no way to excuse it away. For the first time in a long while, I’m comfortable with feeling delighted with myself. I can revel in my achievement without feeling guilty.
Physically, running is something only I can do. None of my friends, family or twitter followers can pick my feet up and place them one in front of the other. No one can grab my hand and physically drag me out the door. But I am so grateful for runners and followers on twitter who have encouraged me, celebrated with me and inspired me. Mentally, I couldn’t do this without you!
I think what I’m trying to say is; the combination of physical achievement powered by mental motivation is amazing, heady, wonderful stuff! How can I not celebrate it?