Monday, October 12, 2015

It's going to hurt. It's going to be awesome.

Someone once asked me "Why do you keep doing these races if they make you so anxious?" Because in the days leading up to a race or an adventure or a major life event, I tend to have these mini crises of faith. The Worries, Doubts and Fears gang up on me with their what if you don't have what it takes? and what if you fail? and what if you're not good enough? They dredge up my past mistakes and my flaws and confront me with this irrefutable evidence of my own fallibility, thinking that it will defeat me. But it won't. Quite the opposite actually. It will only make me stronger. Life is like a roller coaster: it's both the highs and the lows that make the experience. So the point is not to avoid worry and fear. It is to feel them. And to keep going anyway.  The point is to dare mighty (and at times mightily foolish) things, to push myself into the stratosphere of discomfort and by doing so, to learn and grow and become boundless.

Because here are the truths, as I know them, about racing and life:

  • It's going to hurt. This is inevitable, but in a way it is also a good omen. If nothing ever hurts, you're not taking enough risks and you won't find out just how strong you are and how far you can go. That being said, if it hurts too much, this is a sign to pause, reevaluate, and find a better way forward.

  • It's going to be awesome. You have been called to this great adventure in the woods. And to the ultimate adventure that is life. You have what it takes. Of course you do. Because you're here. You took the chances, you put in the effort. You know you could fall and you are okay with that. Because you know it doesn't matter how many times you fall, only that you keep getting back up. Whatever happens here, you will be better for having experienced it.

What to pack:
  • Perseverance
  • Love
  • Sense of humor
  • Snacks
  • Awesome socks

What to leave behind:
  • Ego
  • Expectations
  • Attachment to the outcome
  • The past
  • Naysayers

Lyric of the moment: "You've got a face not spoiled by beauty. I have some scars from where I've been. You've got eyes that can see right through me. You're not afraid of anything they've seen...There is a light you can always see. And there is a world we can always be. There is a dark within and without. And there is a light, don't let it go out..." ~U2 "Song for Someone"

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