State boarders can’t stop me! I am taking my Michigan representation on the road and bringing Pure Michigan to the Mile High City! My family and I are in Colorado for the summer and I am doing the bulk of my fitness training here, just like the Olympic Athletes. I am sponsored by Pure Barre, Belmar, Orange Theory Fitness; Littleton and Highlands Ranch, Fit36; Highlands Ranch and Camp Gladiator; Littleton. These fitness giants have come together to give me the most intense summer training I could hope for. I have never worked so hard and I am loving every minute of it. The stress of moving the household across the country, straddling two states and preparing for the competition of a life time was really getting to me. I was full of doubt and fear- not the place you want to be going into competition. So I did what I know works for me; I dove into training. One, two or even three classes a day (just the one time, that was bananas). It wasn’t long before I started feeling like myself again. I pushed until I got past the nonsense in my head. I pushed until I lost the human side that was weighing me down and became a machine. A sweaty, sore machine. Then I slept for an entire day. I just needed a reboot. I am so grateful for my Colorado summer fitness sponsors.
So when Orange Theory asked me to rep for them at Fitness on the Rocks, I jumped at the chance! My hubby and I headed to Red Rocks and talked to people about my training and about Orange Theory. I did some Zumba and we had an amazing time together. It is always such a fun event and I love how my husband is getting into my hobbies.
I talk all the time about conquering your fears and trying things that scare you. I finally faced mine and ran a solo race. I run all the time and did Girls on the Run with my stepdaughter, but something about signing up for and running a race by myself really intimidated me. I was afraid I would fail, I would embarrass myself or… get eaten by a wolf? I don’t actually know what scared me! I just knew I was scared and I avoided doing it, even through I really wanted to. I think we all avoid trying things that interest us because it’s intimidating or scary. Perhaps we don’t even know we are avoiding them because we invent reasons not to do them.
The first half mile my fears came true. I was dying. I couldn’t set my pace (I’m used to running inside with digital feedback of my speed), my lungs were collapsing, my muscles were on fire and the EMS was following closely behind me. As though even they didn’t believe I could do it. I thought about hiding in a bush until it was over. Then I realized that quitting was the only way that I could actually fail. The only thing I would truly find embarrassing. No one cared about my time but me. Finishing was the only thing that mattered. So I pushed on. EMS stopped at their destination; they weren’t following me after all. I sucked in some air and cranked up my music. I decided this was my moment to prove to myself I could do anything if I was willing to push through the hard part.
My goal was to beat the 43 minute time Elly and I got at Girls on the Run. I secretly hoped to be under 40 as this time I wouldn’t be discussing Shakespear as I ran. As I came around the corner and saw the finish line, I chose my finish song (Work B!t@* by Britney Spears) and sprinted the final stretch. I finished in under 34 minutes. Heck, I FINISHED.
I was so proud of myself I felt I could fly. I realized that all the obstacles in front of me were really inside me. That I was the only thing ever holding me back. My training is there. My fitness is there. My body will do what I ask of it (complaining like a teenager, but it will do it). The same is true for Mrs. America. I have been living in fear of not competing at my best. Afraid that after a decade of working towards my goal that I would fall short and let myself down by not performing to my fullest potential. I’m not afraid of losing. You can’t lose when you finish, just like my 5k. I was afraid of something I now know cannot happen. I am not going to hide in a bush or need a ride on the back of the emergency ATV. I am going to finish. I am going to rely on my training, promote my message and trust in myself to do what I know I can.
I posted a video on facebook after my race. I admitted how scared I was to run and make myself vulnerable through total honesty. I hope talking about conquering my own insecurities inspires you to look at what negative self-talk is holding you back. I hope you will try something new and discover strength within yourself.
Oh- and I’m signed up for another race this Sunday. You never know what passion is hiding behind fear until you push through.