This is going to seem like no big deal to a lot of people. However, this was a major mindset breakthrough for me. My whole world opened up in a split second.
I am sharing in case anyone can relate. Let me know!
It all happened today on my run....
“I am a runner”
I have never said those words before…
I say things like… “I run” or “I like running”…
But accepting the identity as a full blown “runner”, just didn’t seem right.
Can you be a “runner” if you can only run 11 minute miles?
Can you be a “runner” with asthma?
Can you be a runner with a big chest and a bootie?
Part of my problem was that I was letting the things people have said seep through… let’s face it, i’ve never been athletic. Most big endeavors usually result in a hospital visit or a big laugh and have since I was very young. I’m just clumsy. Uncoordinated. A bull in a china shop. Comedic relief. I’ve learned to accept this role.
The other part of my problem was me. I didn’t think I looked the part. Runners are tall, slender, light and springy… I’m heavy, muscular… and bouncy in a totally different way.
Would people laugh at me if I called myself a “runner” built like this? Would they feel pity for me for trying to be something I’m clearly not designed for.. like a frog trying to hunt a lion?
But today, I was running uphill in the woods, breathing like a overworked pug, feeling a little defeated as I was coming up behind a big group of hikers… and that’s when I heard it..
….and everyone stepped to the side, myself included, to let the runner pass….but there was no one behind me! They meant me! I was the runner.
Was it my new shoes? My new runners vest? Clearly the powers of REI have tricked them.. Me, a runner?
As I ran through the group of 8 or so people, I made eye contact with them as they all said encouraging words. Not a single one of them laughed. They all really believed that I was a runner.
That's when, BOOM! It hit me like a ton of bricks in that moment… the only person here who doesn’t believe I am a runner is me! The single thing keeping me from officially being a “runner” is my own limiting self beliefs. My own lack of identity. My own fears. They all believed I was a runner for goodness sake!! Why can't I??
Which lead to the thought..... what else am I holding myself back from because I am afraid to step into the role and claim it?……My Brain: Holy F!! I mean, seriously WOW!! OMG!!!!!!!
(Brain explosion right there all over the trail)
It’s been 15 years and 100lbs lost but sometimes I don’t realize that I’m letting the old Taylor take over my brain again. Usually, I’m really confident in myself. I have worked really hard to get out of that old mindset. However, there are some areas that I still struggle with and I find more of them as I continue to challenge myself as a person.
Athleticism is one of those things. Especially as a personal trainer.
But you know what, so what.
I might not be gifted and naturally athletic but unlike a lot of people, I love a good challenge.
I am not afraid to try new things and totally completely suck.
I’m not afraid of hard work.
I am constantly growing and working on myself.
I run my slow miles with a smile on my face, singing and dancing every step (who else do you know has that much fun running??)
My life is never boing.
My life is full of joy, laughter, WTF moments and love.
And I’m extremely proud of all that.
My life would be so boring if I was just naturally gifted, talented and good at everything. I love my hard work required, imperfect, messy, one of a kind, shit show of a life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Not a single struggle in my journey.
Without every one of those struggles, I would not be the person I am now. I am so grateful for the struggles. More than the victories. The struggles mean way more to me.
So all that to say that from now on…
I will say with 100% belief in myself and all the love in the world…
I am a runner.