The moment when we realize something is about to change. When life hits us. Hard.
I’m running 26.2 miles in less than two weeks. I have put in the time, the miles and the training. With my Fellow Flowers by my side, I will enter Corral K at 7:30 a.m. on October 7 in Chicago. I’ll be hydrated. Well rested. I’ll look around – take it in. The race will start, and along with thousands of other runners, I will begin my journey to the finish line. And I will cross it – and I will experience a kind of joy and enlightenment that literally keeps me up at night with giddy anticipation. It’s getting closer – that moment of transformation. I can sense it.
The mountain is almost climbed.
The bending turn is nearly behind me.
A blinding light now glows at the end of the tunnel.
The finish line. What will it feel like? At this moment, I sit with that thought – cherishing this precious ‘before’ as to be fully present for embracing and appreciating the depths of ‘after.’
And yet, despite the training, I’m still in a state of shock. Awe, even. I have tried twice – unsuccessfully – to train for a marathon. Only now, after just completing my training program’s final long run, I get why I fell short. Why the light at the end of the tunnel dimmed.
I wasn’t willing to endure.
Oh, the freedom in letting that go. Yes. There it is. I wasn’t willing to forego my comfort zone. My habits. My excuses for why time somehow slipped away. My internal tendencies to quit projects midway through because they got messy or hard. I wasn’t willing to dwell and exist in uncertainty, let alone embrace it. I didn’t want to fail. I feared that I would get to a point in my training where I’d realize I couldn’t do it. After all, it’s safer to walk away from the challenge (better yet, not start it) rather than come face-to-face with the humbling moment of failure. I can’t do this.
That fear of failure can be powerful. Paralyzing. It will make you say crazy words like ‘never.’ I could never do that. I’m never going to be strong enough. I’m never going to put myself in a situation where the guarantee of success isn’t evident.
But more powerful than fear itself, is the relationship we chose to have with it.
When we reframe it and make it our own, it becomes the magic that lifts us higher. It gives us permission to stretch, jump and dream. It’s existence means that we’re getting closer to something higher. Brighter. Bigger. It means we’re on the verge.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Don’t walk away from your own story.
Don’t let uncertainty scare you.
Don’t fear fear.
And the more it comes at you – in whisper and booms – the more you need to just finally walk through it. Smack dab, full tilt, guns blazing through it. It’s not going anywhere, and eventually you’ll run out of ways to avoid it.
And the other side of fear? Well, that’s where its sidekick ‘joy’ hangs out (whom I plan on partying hard with at the end of this damn marathon). I’ve heard she’s wonderful and the life of the party. Effortless and beautiful.
I can’t wait to meet her.