Wow, run camp is taking it out of me! But it's also giving back in spades.
When I first saw this calendar post I thought it was kind of dumb, actually. Well, maybe that's not quite right...I thought it was obvious. Obvious in a way that I didn't get how it could be inspiring. But when I was sifting through all of the calendar pages deciding which ones to keep it somehow made the cut. Maybe it is obvious, but a good, straightforward reminder, none the less. So I kept it. It's really a reminder about not limiting yourself. If you decide something is a limit then you throw in the towel on it, and if you do that you for sure will never get it.
No big surprise, this comes down to running for me. I was at an event through run camp listening to author Matt Fitzgerald give a talk about his book Run Like a Pro, Even If You're Slow (which, for obvious reasons, feels like it was written for me.) One of the power point slides was a self reflection exercise and the first of four points was this: Do I want to realize my full potential as a runner? I've lost a little steam over the last number of months, and I am pretty aware of the factors that have contributed to that, including the natural ebb and flow of training and running. I know I'm still in, but I also know I've felt a little muted. I was hoping that my experience at running camp would help to illuminate what was going on, and as I sat at the brewery/running shoe store (awesome!) in Longmont, Colorado I got my answer: I am still all in, and the fire is burning hot. Listening to him talk I was right back in the thick of the desire to know who I really am in this. Hell Yes I want to realize my full potential as a runner, and I know what needs to happen on my end to make that possible. It really isn't about race goals or pace goals or anything that tangible--it's about pulling out all of the stops and then seeing what that looks like. It's about seeing what I am fully capable of doing as a runner, at this age, with my history. It's about making a plan, setting other things aside, and using every kind of mental and spiritual and physical and emotional tool at my disposal to find out where the outer limits are. I need to do this before I move in to the next era of running in my life.
The second question was: Am I doing what it takes to take my running as far as I want to? Right now the answer is no. But I want this. I want to know that I didn't fizzle out, I didn't throw in the towel, and I didn't give up before I was done. I want to know that I didn't make excuses or let things get in the way. I want the peace you get when you didn't sit passively by in your own life, but actively went after what you wanted. I want to be brave enought to say what I want, and do what it takes to get it. It does not matter what the outcome is, either. It only matters that I stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes to finding out what I can do. It only matters that I follow the first, simple, obvious rule of Life:
If you don't go after what you want, you will never achieve it.