Now that you have an Aerosmith song stuck in your head (you’re welcome), I’m going to tell you about the time I recently decided to walk 3.3 miles at one time on purpose.
A few months ago, I completed a 5K with my mom and my sister. I had done a 5K a few years ago with some friends. It didn’t go as well as I wanted, and they all finished before I did, but I did still finish. So when I saw there was a 5K hosted by the company I had just started working at, I figured it would be a great way to be involved and to try to do better than last time.
And then panic set in. What if I finished absolute last? What if I ordered the wrong size t-shirt and it doesn’t fit me? What if I fall and make a fool of myself in front of all my new coworkers? The list went on and on.
And then finally came race day. At first it was a little overwhelming, seeing all the serious athletes and runners stretching and readying their race playlists. I tried not to focus on them, just on myself. I knew I wouldn’t be the winner by any means, but I wanted to give the 5K a good shot.
At times I was getting down on myself, seeing how many people were in front of me and how much faster they would complete it than me. But then I stopped and remembered that I chose to do this. I thought it would be a fun and challenging thing to do, and it was. I admit it was a bit more challenging than I first thought, but even if I finished last, I’d still be finishing.
As the 5K went on, though, I saw that people kept supporting each other with high fives and words of encouragement, no matter where they were in the race. Almost everyone was cheering, clapping, chanting “Great job,” making it very different than the other 5K I had done a few years ago.
My mom took this picture of me during the 5K, and when I saw it, I immediately noticed all of my flaws. Again, panic set in. But before I could say anything, my mom and sister started raving about how good I looked, and that immediately changed my perspective. I mean, sure, I look sweaty. But I was power-walking in a 5K!
It doesn’t matter what a stopwatch says when I cross the finish line; all that matters is that I try and do my best. And I believe I did, regardless of how many people were in front of me or behind me. My sister and mom both finished a few minutes before I did, and my sister jogged over to me when I was almost done and power-walked across the finish line with me. It was a really fun and rewarding moment, and I’m glad that we did it together.
I certainly didn’t break any time records at this 5K, but I did learn how to push myself further. I hope to participate in this same 5K again next year, and maybe I’ll shave a few minutes off my time. Or maybe not. Either way, it’s just about doing your best and having pride in yourself.
So I challenge you to do something you’re scared of or nervous about. You don’t even have to tell anyone else about it if you don’t want to. Challenge and push yourself and see what you’re able to do, no matter what it is or how “small” you think it is. Conquering your fears or self-imposed limits is no small feat!