Three years ago today I ran my first ever half marathon and now in another a couple of hours I will run the same race again for the 4th time. This race has a lot of memories for so many reasons, but mainly for being the first time I ever realized that running a half marathon was no longer a dream.
It is 4 am when the alarm goes off, I look out the window and see nothing but darkness. The rain has stopped, the wind is no longer blowing insanely after hurricane Hermine and I no longer have an excuse not to go run. I want to crawl back to bed, but instead I lace up my running shoes and gather my stuff and head outside to meet my friend who is going to drive me to the race. Considering that my running has taken a back seat, I kept thinking that I was not going to make it here today. However, standing here at the start line surrounded by thousands of people made me believe in myself for a brief moment.
The running begins and I try to focus my mind on different things, but at this moment, my stomach rumbles reminding me that I have not had any food. I can’t think of food despite the smells that float in the air from restaurants that we are running past. I force myself to forget food and instead think of something else.
In a few weeks I would be saying goodbye to the life I have known for the last few years, including the job I don’t love. Despite the fact that I don’t love my job, I liked it enough because of the friends I had made. Even though I kept telling myself that I wanted a change getting out of the comfort zone or rut was not easy.
There is a part of me that is terrified as to what will happen once the traveling is done and I get back to reality. My friends and even strangers are rooting for me and encouraging me to go chase my dream of starting my own cafe. The thought is forefront in my mind now more than ever after a local newspaper wrote about my baking for the market. However, the fear of taking a risk scares me.
At this point I am my own worst enemy, because I don’t know how to overcome the fear I have. Is there a mantra for that? Can I repeat ‘overcome fear’ a hundred times and will it work? I wish I knew the secret to it.
With all these thoughts swirling in my head, I just kept going mile after mile. Just when I was getting distracted, a song comes on and the only word I hear is ‘focus’ helping me focus again and I finally see the finish line in the distance.
As I cross that finish line, I ask myself, why I am so unsure and why I constantly question or doubt myself. My mantra for the next few months will be “yes I can”, maybe once I get back from my travels, my brain will be engraved with those words and I will have the courage to go chase my dream.