During the Life Saver 5K it was so hot, as I reached the second mile, I wasn't sure I was going to make it. My legs were hurting. Breathing was a struggle. Every step I had to tell myself, I could do this. Instead of getting easier, each race is getting harder. I'm not sure if it is the heat we are experiencing in September or if it is me. I reminded myself as I continued to put one foot in front of the other, why I signed up for my first race. Each 5K is for me, my health and to make a point, that I can do it.
So many thoughts went through my mind, negative, discouraging thoughts. I'm doing this alone, no one is encouraging me to continue, no one is here to cheer me on. No one cares if I finish or not. I thought about others that get together weekly and support each other. They support me as well, but they are faster and I'm left behind. I'm not doing this to win but to finish. I've been told I couldn't, but I've proved I can. In that moment, I was ashamed of myself. I'm doing this for myself. Yes, encouragement is helpful when you feel like you can't go on, but running is for me. I started this journey alone. Then my friend started going with me and it pushed me to do better and more have joined us. I found myself feeling sorry for myself because I've slowed down and blaming others. I was having myself a pity party!
When I crossed the finish line, I'd done more than finish this race. I had worked through some struggles within my mind. Then, the lady that stayed close to me the whole race came up to me. She explained that my walking speed inspired her and pushed her. I had no idea I was inspiring her along the way. I was having a pity party and feeling like no one care. A flood of emotion came over me, the inspiration she received from me during my pity party, humbled me. Her words took me back to my passion, to inspire others. I had no idea just running my race was doing just that. I inspired someone to keep going and push harder, just by being me.
Then I discovered I was first place in my age division. It meant even more that as this happen during the "Life Saver" race. I'm very proud of this win on so many levels.
Reflections: Even during struggles, you could be the push someone else needs. Keep being you, you never know who is watching.