Welcome to Thinner Thursday! Starting today, things are going to look a little different around here. I’ve teamed up with Courtney at The Mommy Matters and together we are going to share the hosting duties to bring you the best weekly link-up that we possibly can. If you have yet to meet Courtney, go on over and introduce yourself. She is awesome gal and a great friend. You are going to love her.
So please, join in. Grab the new button and the header. Link back here and read each other’s writing. Let’s encourage one another on to living healthier lives.
Why do anything if you can’t be the best? That was pretty much my mentality while growing up. I was great at a lot of things. I was always at the top of my class, I sang in a world-class choir, I was learning to play the piano, and I was very involved in my church. I was a high-achieving pastor’s kid and I bore that title proudly. My mother might have threatened discipline to convince me to practice the piano and my father might have listened to complaints as he drove me to choir, but deep down, I was proud of my accomplishments.
I was proud to be the best.
I was never enthused about participating in something that I knew I couldn’t succeed in, however. Most of these things that I begrudgingly did were sports related: Swimming lessons where I was always the oldest kid in my class; Skating lessons with a very similar age discrepancy; Basketball with girls who never talked to me in school; Track day where everyone who participated was a winner.
Activities that most kids would find thrilling would leave me feeling uncomfortable, uncoordinated and unlikeable. Participating in these activities transformed me into the unlikely heroine of all the books I had ever read. Shy. Mousy brown hair. Braces. Socially awkward. Unfortunately, I never could rise above this character description like Harriet M. Welsch could. Instead, I remained awkward and mediocre.
Why do anything if you can’t be the best? For that stupid blue participation ribbon? For that trophy that every basketball player received no matter how many baskets they sunk? I would rush home and hide these amongst the rest of my participation “trophies”. Why would I possibly want to display something that declared to the world that someone that I didn’t come in first place?
Why do anything if you can’t be the best?
This mentality has kept me from doing so much. As I grew up, I was soon faced with the reality that I will likely never be the absolute best at anything. This realization initially made me feel as though I therefore should not try anything.
It only took me 18 minutes and 57 seconds to realize that this mentality is an unhealthy one.
On Monday, I did something I haven’t done since those track days in elementary school. I ran a race. And this time, I did it willingly. This time I knew I would beat the best.
I was so nervous walking up to the starting line. I was running with a thousand other people. The street was packed. I joined the group in the middle of the pack, surrounded by people I didn’t know, all waiting for the gun to sound. My heart started racing before I even moved a muscle. There I was, in the middle of a group of people who liked running. There I was, mousy brown hair and all, scared and awkward. There I was. Overcoming. Racing. Beating myself.
I have never ran so fast in my entire life. I passed people more than I was passed. I pounded the pavement to the sound of cheers and claps. They weren’t just cheering for the people ahead of me. They were cheering for all of us. They were cheering for me.
Suddenly, there was the finish line. There was my husband and son cheering me on. There was the clock telling me that I had broken the 10 minute per mile barrier. I had run faster than my best time. I had won.
As the volunteer handed me my participation medal, I proudly draped it around my neck. I might not have been the first person to cross the finish line, but I did more in those twenty minutes than I ever thought I could do. I ran two miles. I ran it faster than I ever have before. I overcame this fear of embarrassment that has hounded me my entire life.
I did it.
I was my best.
Race: Dartmouth Natal Day Road Race
Distance: 2 miles
Time: 18 minutes, 57 seconds
Pace: 9 minutes, 29 seconds per mile
Place: 293/623 (48/101 for my division)
Starting Weight (this time around): 151.5 lbs
And now, it is your turn. I would love to connect with you on your healthy living journey. You can talk about whatever you want – your milestones, goals attained (or not), losing weight, eating better, exercising, or other healthy lifestyle changes and choices.
Link up below and be sure to include a link back here on your blog so that others can connect as well. Read and comment on each other’s posts. Grab the button.
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