by Jessica Leigh Lyons
I just quit.
I hadn’t told anyone that I was training for a marathon. I waited to see if the race would still have spaces. The week beforehand, it filled up. And so I didn’t do it.
It still makes me sad when I write that.
What I know now is that I could have. Do you know how many people pace other runners without being registered? I could have just run it. No one would have asked. But I chose not to. I used it as an excuse for why I couldn’t keep training.
The kicker was that I knew in my head, once I ran 17 miles, I could do 26.2 (with the right training!). I found that at the 6-, the 12-, the 17-mile mark, my body all hurt the same. Something in my body wanted to give up, but if I really listened, I learned it was fear. A twinge, my body talking to me, but not speaking of pain, not ripping. It was STRAIGHT UP RESISTANCE + FEAR that were making themselves known.
My head would be chattering about how my body couldn’t possibly run another mile, that this was ludicrous, and I should probably just stop now.
Resistance took me by storm. To me, the marathon represented everything hard that I thought I couldn’t do.
It was such a big feat that if I accomplished it, then WHAT would be next? I was terrified of being able to ACTUALLY RUN 26.2 miles AND of what I was supposed to do after that.
So I let resistance win. I stopped running. I gained 50 pounds. My body stopped working the way it’s supposed to, and I visited doctors to figure out what was wrong.
Two years later, a friend took me for a New Year’s jog. A slow one. A run where bacon was scheduled afterwards. She told me that she was going to run a marathon in June. I got quietly jealous (hint: jealousy always points to something), and I started running with her.
She was calm. She was disciplined. She looked at training schedules and then ran the amount of miles she was supposed to. So I kept running with her. And then one day, I realized I really wanted to run the marathon, too. But I was scared. I was afraid to fail. I told her I secretly wanted to run. She said she secretly wanted me to run it, too, and now that we had said it, it wasn’t a secret any more.
Listen: I want to tell you that I made the decision to run the marathon and THAT WAS IT. I conquered my fear of running a complete marathon and I lived happily ever after.
I kicked Fear + Resistance to the curb. SUCCESS!!!
But that’s a lie. I continued to self-sabotage in a lot of ways (more on the binge eating at a later date). But I also kept running. I had a vision. I had a goal. And I had a team that knew what I was up to in the world.
My team, Brenda B., literally ran by my side, and I was lucky enough to add my partner + a bestie to the cheerleaders.
THE TRIFECTA, the holy trinity, is how we accomplish big things in this life.
- We need to have a vision that’s bigger than our current reality.
- We need to know the TANGIBLE goal of what we want to accomplish, do, have.
- We need to be surrounded by support systems to make it happen.
Which is why Meredith Maslich and I created Writer2Author. It’s a team to help you train to get published instead of run a marathon. Check out all the details and let us be your dream team to get you from writer all the way to author.
Jessica Leigh Lyons is a life coach who works with women to help them create a life of joy. She is also a Desire Map facilitator helping women (and some awesome dudes) discover their Core Desired Feelings. Find out more at www.jessicaleighlyons.com.