Do you ever have those moments when a thought completely rewrites your story and your belief system changes? Just like that.
This is a bit about running, a bit about mindset and a lot about changing the way you see yourself and those around you.
Rewind... 4 years. I'm queueing up in the holding area waiting to start a 10km event. Maybe my second or third time at the distance. The goal was to help a friend reach her goal of a sub 60 minute race. She did.
Standing there shivering (coz it was literally the middle of winter), our starting wave is held up as there are a group of half marathoners about to start their second lap of the course. A half marathon. I couldn't even compute the idea of doing this course twice. And as we're waiting, I recognise a face amongst those passing. She's older than me. She's likely not as fit as me. But there she is. Running a half marathon.
Now, how I've always told myself this story, is that seeing this made me think "well if she can do it, so can I". That version has never sat well with me though. You see, I was super impressed by her effort. Genuinely chuffed for her. Inspired, totally. Yet the way I recall it was a feeling we associate with competition.
Seriously. This chain of events has stuck with me for more than 4 years. Which is ridiculous in the big scheme of things. I've fully beaten myself up for what I thought was comparison. Because that's what we've been conditioned to think when we're motivated by someone or something.
This morning. Two hundred and sixty weeks later. Clarity waved her gentle hand at me.
If wasn't so much IF she could do it, so could I. The lightbulb moment came when I realised BECAUSE she had done it, so could I.
Her participation in that bloody half marathon gave me the social proof that people like me; ordinary, ageing, non-athletes with slightly broken bodies could give it a go too. I did.
Social proof is a powerful thing.
Choosing who you are influenced and inspired by is a powerful thing.
Making the decision to see the world from a lens of positivity...