Today I made history.
Not the kind of history that would make the evening news – but the kind of personal history that celebrates my freedom.
I woke up super early and although my irritated body tried to talk me out of it, I drove to the Cradle of Humankind to participate in my first ever 5km Fun Run. (Ok, it was more of a walk than a run, and much more of huffing-and-puffing pacing) but still… I did it.
There is nothing like breaking out of your comfort zone. Doing something for the first time. Having your preconceptions shattered to be replaced by experiential knowledge that results in wisdom for ‘next time’.
I think the reason I have postponed doing this for so long is because I would have to face the truth about myself: I am not an athlete. I am not those tanned, toned, lean machines who show the tarmac whose boss.
No, I am the not-really-sure-where-my-outside-gym-fitness-level-is-at cautious participants that ask themselves what they’re doing in the middle of a bunch of serious runners.
Anyway, there were kids and dogs running with us – so really… it couldn’t be that hard. It wasn’t actually. Even though I walked a total distance of 10km (distance from where car was parked to beginning and finish line) and my knees were buggered from the pounding of the pavement – I felt elated as I drove home.
I had pushed beyond my excuses.
I had pushed beyond my own fears.
I had pushed beyond my own limitations.
The medal hangs proudly above my bookshelf to remind me that I can do those things that I have been avoiding. Those things that I have been afraid of. Those things that – deep down – I know I can be brilliant at.
That medal is a symbol of me giving myself permission to be myself. To feel the fear – do it anyway and realise that it wasn’t that difficult after all. It is a reminder to face the things that will make me more successful at being myself.
I don’t need to be a star athlete. I don’t need to be perfect at something the very first time I do it.
But I can be myself. I can allow myself to grow, to try new things, to be astounded at what I can accomplish when I lean on God and allow Him to show me what He put in me.
I can run my own race.