A Tale of Two Races


Originally it started with “I won’t…”.

Because I thought, “I won’t fail if I don’t try.”

“I won’t be dissapointed if I don’t expect anything.”

And since I did not aspire to prove myself correct, I told myself I could not. And that is how it became, “I can’t…”.

And I was stuck in “I can’t…”.

Until, Type 2 Diabetes came into my life, and gave me, my “I should…”.

And there I was, in conflict with myself.

The “I should..” brought yearning and expectations of action.

The “I should…” made me uneasy.

The “I should…” brought with it a nagging need to do the impossible.

So I cautiously began to entertain the idea.

And when I started out on this journey, it was with the sole intention of transforming my body.

But, I did not, however, expect to be led down a parallel path, that would teach me the importance of also transforming my mind.

And eventually, I was to be brought to a place, where I would discover, that in doing both simultaneously, I had completely transformed my life.

These two races were the markers of that evolution.

These two races were the beginning and the end of that internal transformation.

But here, at the beginning of this tale, it all began with the “I should…”.

The first race was my very first 5K after being diagnosed with Diabetes.

It was the very beginning of my journey.

I was nervous, but I wanted to try.

I wanted so much to be able to run.

But I walked, and then I limped, and then I wanted to quit.

Behind me, was a police car bringing up the rear to be sure that the last racer made it safely to the finish line.

And as I walked, the road crew was following, pulling up the orange cones as I passed to reopen the street.

I was tired, and I doubted that I would finish.

Everything hurt, but I forced myself to keep going.

And I finished that race in last place.

The other race, was my fifth Half Marathon after hitting my goal and getting off all of my Diabetes medications.

It was the culmination of my physical transformation.

I was excited, and I wanted to try to beat my best time.

I wanted to keep running.

So I ran, and then I ran faster, and I never wanted to quit.

A policeman that I passed at the last mile marker gave me a high five as I ran towards the finish line.

I ran through all of the orange cones marking the final turnaround.

I was tired, but I knew I would finish.

I believed it.

Everything hurt, so I pushed myself even more.

And I finished that race in 3rd place.

But the real difference between those two races, was not in my racing time, or in my ranking, or even in my eventual achievement as a finisher- because I did finish both of those races.

The difference, was in my eventual belief, during the last race, that I WOULD finish…even before it actually happened.

During that first race, I didn’t believe in myself, and I doubted that I would get there.

I nearly gave up, because I did not believe in my ability to succeed.

Even though, in last place, despite my doubts, I still managed to surprise myself, and barely get across that very first finish line.

That feeling planted a seed, and it gave me my “I can…”.

The “I can…” carried me into each new challenge with hope.

And it was then, during that last race, that even before I even saw the finish line, that I knew that I would cross it.

I believed in myself. I believed in my success.

And that belief finally gave me, my “I will…”.

Because, if you believe that you are capable, then you will be.

And if you always finish strong, no matter what, you will know deep down, that you can.

For it takes just as much effort and energy to tell ourselves that we are not capable, and to make excuses for why we cannot achieve something…

As it does to tell ourselves that we ARE, and believe that we can.

The race is won or lost by our belief in our ability to finish it.

And the evolution of that belief is this:

I won’t…
I can’t…
I should…
I can…
I will…
I DID.

So, if just one word has the ability to change everything…

Then, just imagine, what ‘changing everything’, can also give us the ability to change.


 

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