In the days leading up to my half marathon I was thinking about the post I would write afterwards. Full of positivity about how we can achieve anything if we are willing to put the time and effort in. How we should never listen to those who say we can’t do this or that or mock us for even trying.
In honesty, I was planning on setting myself up as the champion of the underdog. #teamunderdog
Yet in the moments after crossing the finish line I did not feel a soaring sense of pride of achievement but of deflation and sadness. A feeling of frustration as the thoughts of how I could have done better, been better/faster/fitter.
I faced a barrage of disappointment and a sense of shame, all from myself, telling myself the lie that no one believed I would actually be able to do it and thinking that to truly prove myself then I would have to do another and do it faster.
One was a fluke, she’d never manage to do that again
It wasn’t a marathon though was it
Though if I did a marathon I’d tell myself it wasn’t an ultra marathon. It’s never good enough is it!
Yet this morning it dawned on me that all the while we measure our sense of worth against what we achieve we will always fall short, we will never make the grade or meet the expectation. We will always be disappointed and desperate to have another go just to give us a sense of worthiness and validation.
In Church this morning I said that we are all called to run our individual races, the pace and distance set by God.
Am I running my own race in line with what God is asking of me or am I looking for approval in the wrong places? Maybe also not helped by the questions of what my finish time was or whether I ran it all.
Listening to myself and minimising the success and not to God has robbed me from celebrating the massive achievement of running 13.1 miles.
I achieved something not many people do. I put the training in for months and I earned the medal just as much as the people who finished before me and after me. We all covered the same 13.1 miles!
Will I do another half marathon? Yes I most likely will. Will I want to do better than I did last Sunday? Yes probably, and my hope is that I will look to God to tell me how I’ve done and not to others.