Getting Out of My Own Way

Source: Cathy on Pinterest

I have not always been a confident individual. For a long time, I wouldn’t even bother to set goals for myself. In my mind, I wasn’t an athlete, so I didn’t try out for a single high school sport. I didn’t consider myself capable of being a straight-A student, which allowed me to excuse the occasional bad grade. I knew I was a good person, and I never got into any trouble. I just had no desire to push myself outside of my comfort zone. When I looked in the mirror, I saw an average girl and I never once tried to prove myself wrong.

When it came to running, I utterly refused to believe I could last a single mile — let alone more than one! I saw runners as strong, powerful, and somehow above me. I looked up to them, and to me they were people who were able to push themselves to limits that I could only dream of. My freshman year of high school, I actually yelled at my gym teacher when he got frustrated that I was walking the last lap of the required mile run. I made some excuse about how I was hurt, but I’m sure he knew I was full of crap. I was a relatively quiet girl, and that was the only time I ever talked back to a teacher. But I had predetermined what I was capable of doing, and what I was not capable of doing. In my mind, there was no point in setting myself up for failure.

I don’t know what changed, exactly. Part of me seemed to get tired of watching everyone around me achieve greatness, while I stood on the sidelines. My husband, Nick, helped push me for the first time in my life. He saw potential in me that I wasn’t aware of. The first time we went running together, he took me on a mile jog. I felt like I was going to die by the end of it, but he didn’t let me quit. Instead, he had me sprinting the last stretch! At the time, I wanted to kick him in the shin — not literally of course! I was exhausted and angry that he didn’t let me rest. Looking back, I can now see that it was the best thing anyone has ever done for me. He didn’t let me give up, and I haven’t wanted to give up since.

It seems the biggest obstacles that we all have to overcome lie within ourselves. We have to stop letting our negative thoughts and self-image get in the way of what we want out of life. You have to believe in yourself enough to set goals for your life — even if they’re small ones, and find a way to make it happen. Don’t expect success to arrive overnight, or without any hard work. It might take a lot of your time, energy, and determination. You might feel like you want to quit. Don’t do it! Keep it moving, keep putting one foot in front of the other and push through the wall. Prove to yourself that you are capable of doing what you set your mind to, and it will propel you in whatever you choose to accomplish next.

Okay, I will now step off my soapbox. 

Anyone ever have a similar experience?
What walls have you had to push through?
What are some goals you hope to accomplish?



9 responses to “Getting Out of My Own Way

  1. Excellent message and good writing!

  2. Great post. I was very similar through out high school and college- never thought I’d be one of those work-out finatics. I was always interested in being healthy but just didn’t think I had it in me to take on truly challenging athletics. Not sure what changed except that I felt like my life in general needed some sort of goal, and running is a very tangible and enjoyable one. There’s always a new goal you can set for yourself in this sport- how gratifying!

    • Thanks for reading and for sharing your story! It’s nice to know there are other people who went through a similar experience! And I agree, running allows you to continue to progress and push forward. It seems that, with running especially, every little goal can lead to your accomplishing one big goal (and even more after that)!

  3. This is a fantastic post, beautifully written and thoughtfully composed. I know it resonates with me, and I am sure with plenty of other people, let alone just the runners. The only problem I have, actually, is the title. Rather than getting out of your own way, it seems like you have really just found your path, one that was always there for you. Looks to me as if it is working out rather nicely! Keep at it and keep writing!

    • Thanks so much for your nice thoughts on this post! I’m so glad you enjoyed reading, and you were able to relate to the message 🙂 And I totally agree with you on the title, I had no idea what to call it when I wrote it. I was having a creative mental block I guess!

      • No need to excuse yourself. It is a perfectly lovely title, I was just giving you a hard time. Allow me to correct myself- I have no problems with your article or its title. 🙂

  4. I love the quotes on those pictures, and love the story behind your inspiration. I feel sometimes as though I have no motivation to do anything, and have to find a goal in order to push myself to continue. Goals can be such powerful things!

    • Yes, they can! Having something to work toward is such a strong source of motivation. Thanks for reading, and for your comments!

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