Taking A Step Back To Realize How Far You've Come

Taking A Step Back To Realize How Far You've Come

Finding positivity when things are good, isn't always easy. Sometimes you have to reflect back in order to properly appreciate all that you have gone through.

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I was never a big fan of looking back. As they say, "You're not going that way". But sometimes, reflecting isn't such a bad thing.

So, I went back and read some of my articles from last year about finding faith, trusting God, and what to do when you lose your passion. What I found was, all this time, I thought I was growing.

I wasn't. In fact, I have become more negative since being able to run again.

I wrote during a dark time;

"You are not damaged goods. You are not your failed attempts at success. You are not your mistakes. You are your lessons learned. You are your victories on your way to success. You are the strength because of your obstacle."

I now realize that what I have endeavored has nearly put me right back in the same place as before I got injured a year ago. Being able to run again is not a chore, but training for the Boston Marathon has made me feel like it is. But it honestly is the biggest privilege I have ever been graced with.

I spent a lot of time last year writing about how my injury and Boston getting taken away from me was all a part of God's plan, that in His time, I would get a second chance at something I had worked so hard for.

I'm lucky enough to continue running with a torn hip labrum, to get a second chance at the marathon of my dreams, and yet, people are telling me I inspire them. But lately, I don't even feel like I deserve to be there. Yes, I earned my qualifying time, but that was a year and a half ago. I can't even touch the times I was running then.

I'm coming to terms with the fact that that's okay. I'm allowed to feel that way. I'm allowed to feel defeated and unworthy. I am entitled to those feelings, but that does not mean that they are my truth.

Last year, I made the decision to back out of the marathon in order to let my hip recover without doing even more damage.

"I told myself I would crawl, walk, drag myself across that Boston Marathon finish line. But for what? To say that I completed the most prestigious marathon in history? Why does this marathon hold more power over me than any other one before? Does it mean anything if you do it while injured? Does it make you a better runner if you run it? Does it make you less of a person if you drop out? Do you base your worth off of the miles that you run?

What are you trying to prove, and to whom? You didn't come this far to only come this far, but you also didn't come this far to potentially risk an injury that could turn into something much worse. See, for the longest time, I based my worth off of two simple letters: PR."

Reflecting back, I'm able to put myself in those shoes of a 20-year-old girl who feels like she had just wasted the last three years of her life. I poured my heart and soul into running, and yet, I was still mature enough to walk away. I was so in touch with my physical and mental well being that I was able to sacrifice my dreams. I admire that girl, and I miss her.

It's therapeutic to know I did everything I possibly could to show up healthy for this marathon. I'm finally getting my chance. My time to prove to myself, and no one else, that I am capable of anything I set my mind to. I was told that I would never be able to run a marathon again, and if I had listened to them, then they would've been right.

But I chose to get up and fight every single day, for this exact moment. I have been dreaming of this for the last year, and now it's finally here, and the only thing I can find myself doing is doubting myself.

So, this week is really about choosing faith over doubt, time after time. I'm choosing to trust my training plan. I'm choosing to have faith that my hip is healthy and ready for a grueling 26.2-mile race. I'm choosing to believe that, when I run with my heart, anything and everything is possible.

While this last year has solely been focused on my hips' recovery, I know there is a much bigger underlying transformation taking place. I eat more foods I enjoy, I drink wine when I want, and I go out with my friends without fear of "ruining" my training. I have learned to live my life to its fullest, or as much as a college student can. I have lost some of the most important people in my life, and I have gained some pretty awesome ones, too.

As I toe that line in five days, I know that I will cross that finish line and feel something I've never felt before. I'm not only turning the page, but closing a pretty extraordinary chapter. So, if you've been reading and I've let you down in any way, I'm not sorry. I know I'm not that feisty, fiery, and fierce girl whose heart was lit up by running.

As soon as I step on that line, my patience, perseverance, and passion will come out to play on Monday. I'm so excited to see what I can do when I'm not focused on a personal best or Boston qualifying time. The story has come full circle. I'm ending up in the place I have worked so incredibly hard for over the last four years. I get one shot to soak up all the love Boston has to offer.

I can't wait to lace up and run. Rain or shine, it's go time.

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When You Make A Girl An Aunt, You Change Her World In All The Best Ways

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest girl in the world.

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My brother and his wife recently blessed our family with the sweetest bundle of joy on planet earth. OK, I may be a little bias but I believe it to be completely true. I have never been baby crazy, but this sweet-cheeked angel is the only exception. I am at an age where I do not want children yet, but being able to love on my nephew like he is my own is so satisfying.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a very protective person.

From making sure the car seat is strapped in properly before every trip, to watching baby boy breathe while he sleeps, you'll never meet someone, besides mommy and daddy of course, who is more concerned with the safety of that little person than me.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her a miniature best friend.

There is something about an aunt that is so fun. An aunt is a person you go to when you think you're in trouble or when you want something mom and dad said you couldn't have. An aunt is someone who takes you to get ice cream and play in the park to cool down after having a temper tantrum. I can't wait to be the one he runs to.

When you make a girl an aunt, she gets to skip on the difficulty of disciplining.

Being an aunt means you get to be fun. Not to say I wouldn't correct my nephew if he were behaving poorly, but for the most part, I get to giggle and play and leave the hard stuff for my brother.

When you make a girl an aunt, you give her the best listening ears.

As of right now I only listen to the sweet coos and hungry cries but I am fully prepared to listen to all the problems in his life in the future.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the best advice giver.

By the time my nephew needs advice, hopefully, I will have all of my life lessons perfected into relatable stories.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her a number-one fan

Anything you do in life sweet boy, I will be cheering you on. I already know you are going to do great things.

When you make a girl an aunt, she learns what true love is.

The love I have for my nephew is so pure. Its the love that is just there. I don't have to choose to show love every day, I don't have to forgive, I don't have to worry if it is reciprocated, it is just there.

When you make a girl an aunt, you make her the happiest person in the world.

I cannot wait to watch my precious nephew grow into the amazing person that I know he is going to be.

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4 Things I Wish High School Me Knew

Every day has a purpose.

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People don't give high school enough credit for having the ability to shape your life. It can build you or it can break you and often times there is no in between. As I enter into my senior year of college I have reflected a lot on my college career and how it really has been the best years of my life up to this point, but I know that without a doubt my life would have been so different in I would have known these things as a high schooler.

1. Your life is valuable

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. - Ephesians 2:4-7

2. You aren't defined by your singleness. 

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. - Song of Solomon 2:7

4. You aren't going to fit in

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. - Romans 12:2

4. Your clothes aren't going to fit forever, don't spend all of your money on them 

Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions." - Luke 12:15

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