I felt compelled to reflect upon the Philly 8k I just completed last weekend.
I recently was talking to some coworkers when they reminded me of the classic story of "The Tortoise and the Hare" which is one of Aesop's Fables. Yes, you remember the hare is very confident of winning, so it stops during the race and falls asleep. The tortoise continues to move very slowly but without stopping and finally it wins the race. The moral or lesson of the story is that you can be more successful by doing things slowly and steadily than by acting quickly and carelessly. But I also believe finishing the walk had another meaning to me, I will explain in a minute.
As I began the walk, many past demons (memories) infiltrated my mind. The walk reminded in me in many ways of past bicycle rides I participated in before the accident. Standing among thousands of people, my anxiety level jumped immensely, and feelings of doubt and worry started to elevate (the PTSD really kicked in). How could I finish something in which I never trained nor have attempted in almost 5 years…?
Why you may ask was I doing this…?
Well, in my head it was for all couldn’t walk or were in a situation where they are challenged with a life changing event. That was the primary mindset; however, let’s get back to the analogy of the Tortoise and the Hare. As many of you know I cannot run nor jog, so it was a walk only event for me. Now keep in mind, my competitive nature kicked in and everyone or should I say 99% were jogging or running. That didn’t sit well with me at all. I still had the mindset of the hare. I wanted to go fast and was competing against the clock and myself. NO in fact, it was not a race against time for me now, it was a walk to finish. Yes, to finish… As my two children encouraged me not to give up as much as I wanted to. The pain and memories were attacking me on all fronts now. Every bone and muscle were crying out to call for assistance…not to mention I had to go to the bathroom (bladder issues).
As I approached mile 4 a good friend who finished the 8k doubled back to walk with me and my children for the last mile. I was extremely fatigued and needed his words of encouragement… He said to me “many who could walk, run, or jog elected to sit on the sofa this morning; however, you my friend elected to take the challenge”.
At that moment, something clicked in my head; to forget everything and just take one step at a time. This was my mindset during physical rehabbing, too. You see I lost sight who and why I was truly attempting this challenge. It was for those who truly could not. However, the bigger lesson was a validation that completing something on your own terms is so important. Whatever those terms are, its what success means to YOU! So sometimes its not the clock nor the time it takes to complete the objective, or what other see as the success for you. It’s your journey and your story that matters, not someone else’s perspective or narrative that matters.
Now go out there and journey on your own terms for success😊