I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid I’m pathetic. I’m afraid I’m weak. I’m afraid I’m mediocre. I’m afraid I can never be the best. And I want to be the best.
I’m afraid when you look at me you’ll think mean, nasty things. I’m afraid the voices in my own head speak the truth.
But I lace up. And I go anyway. This is the bigger part of my running journey so far.
It’s not for fitness. For weight loss. It’s not for passion. It’s not to run.
It’s to face these fears. It’s to stare them in the face, stand tall, and not walk away. Over and over again. Until it doesn’t take everything I have.
It’s all stacked against me. With each stride, I’m launching and catching too much weight . I have arthritis – crazy expensive meds each month just to be able to walk, clean my house, and do regular things. I have the endurance of a firecracker. And I hate running. I have no business doing this.
But I do it.
I’m afraid if I experience growth someone in my inner circle might feel intimidated or uncomfortable with me and abandon me. And I’m afraid if I don’t they won’t have anything to be proud of me for. I want them to be proud of me.
I have friends who run. I want to run with them. I’m afraid I’ll never be fast enough, strong enough, go long enough for them to want to run with me. That if they do run with me, it will be agonizing for them.
A close friend has a daughter experiencing a lot of anxiety. I mean, I’m probably not qualified to advise on things like that. But I tell her ‘you need to tell her even if the thing she fears happens, she will be ok. Tell her she will be ok.’
That’s what I tell myself while I’m running.
Even if I am slow and pathetic and weak… I will be ok.
Even if I’m never the best…. I will be ok.
Even if all the nasty things I say to myself are absolutely true…. I will be ok.
Even if I’m never worthy to run with my friends…. I will be ok.
Even if my closest loved ones abandon me in my growth… I will be ok.
I’m afraid. I’m still afraid.
And still I lace up and look those fears dead in the eyes.