There will be times where you will fall a step short of halfway. That’s okay. Remember those who took an extra step for you to get through. Cherish the ones who broke through their own halfway to help you. Celebrate each step beyond the halfway point. You’re getting there.
Sometimes the world likes to give us opportunities to do something new in the most unexpected way. When I bought my first pair of high end and very expensive running shoes it came with a free ticket to a running event.
To give you a picture, I was a really huge guy who can barely keep a few strides without passing out on the pavement. My only plan was to get myself a pair of shoes and make friends with running. As I paid for the shoes, the cashier told me that I got a free entry for a fun run held in three month’s time. Although, the only slot available is for a 10k.
Unsure of what a 10k is and having no knowledge about running, I signed up. I went out of the store with a fresh pair of shoes and a free ticket to a 10k fun run an unknown world of pain.
Winning Myself Over
The following day I took the shoes out for a test jog on the nearby track. I swear they were the most comfortable pair of shoes that I’ve ever worn. Each step feels like my feet were being cushioned by clouds. They were perfect.
I wore the shoes every day. Walking in them brought a spring in my step and people would compliment how good they looked. The best part about wearing them was how they made it easier for me to run. It’s what they’re made for after all.
Enthusiastic, I researched the fun run event and I was shocked when I saw the map. I’ve never seen such a colorful route of running torture. I had second thoughts about going because I’m a beginner and a 10km distance is way too much for me to handle. I was also afraid I’d get myself injured and drop dead on the course because my body wasn’t prepared for it.
Wearing the shoes daily reminded me that the fun run is fast approaching. It was as if the shoes were begging me to use them according to their purpose. In the third week, I caved in. I decided to go for it. I had nothing to lose since the ticket came with the shoes and I still have enough time to condition my body. It was a win for my pocket and a win for my body. With only two months and a week until race day I started to train.
Early Morning Training
The training was difficult having had no experience in fun runs ever. I adjusted to a leaner diet, downloaded a running trainer app, and scheduled my sessions.
I told myself that if I’m going to this, I wouldn’t back down, instead, go all in.
Weeks before the event, my days will start at 4:00 a.m. Waking up in running clothes, I walked from my apartment to the track. One of the perks of waking up early to train is that you get to have the track to yourself and be done when people start coming in. You also get to see the rays of the sunrise wake up the block. It’s beautiful to witness.
My training starts by hitting play on the app which then blasts my ears with energizing music readying me for the drills. I found it fascinating how well my body adapted to the increasing intervals of the exercises. Week after week I developed a good rhythm for my breath and cadence. I also built up my stamina at a consistent pace. It’s true that when your head is in it you’re there to win it.
I pushed myself to go beyond what I knew my body can do. I’ve lost a couple of pounds and gained strength. There were days where I wanted to skip training but the results I’m seeing were so good for me to stop. I managed to keep the momentum up days leading to the race.
It was 3:00 a.m. and I woke up feeling a bit anxious on the day of the race. Though I knew that time that I’ve prepared enough, anything can still happen during the run. That, and I will be running alone in my first ever fun run. Gun start for the 10km distance was at 4:30 a.m. so I better pull myself together. I pushed through these emotions with a cold shower, put on my running gear, ate a hearty breakfast grabbed a ride to the venue.
The dark morning sky was energetically contrasted by the lights and sounds on the starting line. It was fun to see many people getting pumped up to run a few kilometers.
I fell in line with my fellow 10k runners. With only a few minutes left before the gunshot my nerves kicked back in. I couldn’t believe I was going to run alone with strangers of all shapes, age, and sizes because of a pair of shoes. I pushed myself way out of my comfort zone on this one.
We all went off on a brisk pace from the starting line. My nerves seemed to have been transformed into energy as I sped through the first kilometer without stopping for rest. Another kilometer after my body felt the toll of the rookie mistake of not maintaining proper pace.
I was so hyped at the start that I spent too much energy leaving little to spare for the remaining course. I slowed myself down to let my body remember the pace during training and alternated between walking and light jogging. My breath got back into sync and I found a comfortable rhythm to run to.
Four kilometers in, I began to feel a dull ache on my right foot.
The pain made me limp making it difficult to alternate walking and running. Almost at the halfway mark I was tempted to turn around 2 kilometers short. I couldn’t bring myself to do it, I was almost there already why cheat?I rested a bit at the next hydration station and continued the race.
Bearing with the pain, I put all my focus in moving forward. I imagined the posts ahead of me as a mini finish line so that it would feel like I was collecting rewards as I persevere towards the finish line.
When I hit eight kilometers, I felt energy surging back. I can already hear the festive music and cheering crowds waiting for me in the finish line. I picked up my pace barely noticing my foot. When I turned on the last corner, I got teary eyed seeing the finish line.
I smiled my widest smile for the camera,and with all the strength I have left, I ran the last stretch of the course.
I DID IT!
The organizers put a medal around my neck and congratulated me.
I felt a huge wave of happiness and accomplishment. My first fun run ever and I conquered a 10k all by myself! Not many would dare do that but I did. All my early morning trainings paid off.
It was a moment that I will never forget.
I went around the booths for freebies and immediately went home to nurse my aching foot.
Go All In
When was the last time you did something where you’re not sure if it will work but did it anyway? it’s in these rare opportunities that bring out the best in us. Where even if you’re scared of doing it or uncertain of the outcome you still gave it your all and persevere through the end. It takes a lot courage to do especially if you’re only at it alone.
Going all in can be daunting but rewarding. The process is what will make you better and stronger. Regardless if you fail or if you succeed, you did it and you should be proud of it.
Now, when a good opportunity comes, go all in and run.