Who am I? What do I want? What don’t I want? These are the never ending questions I’m constantly asking myself. The answers? Well, I’m still working on this. But as I look over the last couple years and truly examine all that I’ve both gained and loss in life I can say that one part of these multilayered answers is that, “I want to be the girl that’s not afraid to do hard things.” I want to be able to recognize the difference between fear and danger, and then be able to move forward (or away – in the case of danger) with confidence. It is one thing to say this, but to live this…that too I’m still working on. However during my run the other day my sweaty addiction did what it so often does – it taught me a life lesson. It was a short hard run that I will never forget and it went a little something like this:

Don’t Take The Easy Route

Some people run for their health. I however run for my sanity. The health benefits are clearly a RAD part of the package, but 9 out of 10 times when I lace up and run out I am actually running away. Running away from fear, doubt, worry, stress and any other negative thought that may be consuming me. And 10 out of 10 times when I return to life, I am overwhelmed with joy and gratitude for the fact that I am “sweaty for my sanity.” So when I “ran away” last week I was like, “I’m taking it easy today, three miles, no hills, no speed, no pressure.” And while there are days when this type of run is totally acceptable, this particular day was not one of those days. So as I passed the massive hill that I typically dread my body whispered to my mind, “I know things are hard in life right now, and you want to take the easy route. But if you master this hill with me right now I will remind you of it later when you think you can’t do something else hard.” My mind replied, “Fine.”

Failing Isn’t Final

So up the hill I went. Huffing and puffing. Partly because I was already out of breath two steps in (I’m telling you, this hill is no punk) and partly because I was anxious about not being able to make it to the top (fear and it’s effect on the body is also no punk). However let me be clear about the nature of this hilly route. It’s only a quarter mile of rolling hills followed by a quarter mile of downhill easy running. You only know this if you go the whole way. Hello! If this isn’t like life I don’t know what is. True story yall – it’s only hard for a moment, so please believe peace is on it’s way. But anyways, back to my run. The first round was so unbelievably hard that I had to stop multiple times. This was disappointing, but every time I stopped I was able to not only look back to see how far up the hill I was but I was able to look up to see that I only had a little further to go (hello again life). So I just kept on keeping on – taking one more step, and one more step, and one more step until I reached the top…

Try Again, And Again, And Again

And when I finished my mind yelled to my body, “See, there you go body. I did it. Now back to my easy running plan.” And here go my body with this reply, “But that clearly wasn’t your all. Do it again.” So yet again my mind said, “Fine.” And I did it again and again and again and again. Stopping less and less each time until I finally ran the whole route without stopping. And the feeling I felt at the top was and will be “mine” forever yall. However the best part was when my body and mind (in unison this time) said, “Every challenge you face in life equips you with the strength to not only face, but conquer the next. Never quit. You ARE the girl that can do hard things.”

My RAD Life Lesson:

Life is hard. But so what! You’re hard too…as in hardcore. Never give up!


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