A friend of mine recently invited me to take part of a group she runs with. She knows my health has been a big focus for me lately and she very kindly extended the invitation to me. I joined her last week and we enjoyed our time. This past weekend, I asked if she was going and it turned out she wouldn’t be able to make it. The morning of, I hemmed and hawed about going. I knew she wouldn’t be there (she is the only one I really know in the group), it was going to rain, and I don’t know their protocols on anything. After a half hour of debate, I decided to go. I knew I would feel better and I knew at the very least I was helping my body and at the most I could meet some new people…which I am admittedly not adept at. Cue social awkwardness 😊
I showed up to the park where they start their run as everyone warmed up. I said hi to the friend of my friend I met last week but she was kind of cold. Not a problem, I know what it’s like to be shy. But that in itself was big for me. I put myself out there in spite of her not being very receptive and I survived. So I started to run alone. I said hi to a bunch of people, getting my face out there and laying the foundation. It’s so hard to insert into a group…especially one that 1. Has been focusing on health and fitness longer than me 2. Has a set purpose and 3. That I literally know no one. So the fact that I settled on “Hi” to a bunch of people is a win in my book.
About a mile and a half in the rain came and it came hard. I wasn’t wearing rain gear and I was pretty damp within seconds so that was my end point. I turned around to start my wet run back and one of the women simply said, “Have a good run back!”. Her smile and her words touched me. My effort was messy, uncomfortable, unsure, and now wet but she still looked at me and allowed. What she said was perfect in that moment. She made me realize that I could do many hard things at the same time. I mean, Glennon Doyle talks about doing hard things all the time, so I keep that in the back of my mind, but the real world application of it hit home.
As I approached the bridge about half a mile from my car, the rain let up. I felt embarrassed that I didn’t continue on with the group because I know I didn’t have much further to go, I let my discomfort win. But the woman’s words came back to me, “Have a good run back.” That was the point. It wasn’t about how far I ran, it was about the quality of the run. It was about the experience and taking care of my body so I could fill my cup to help others. That is showing up. Some days will be better than others. I didn’t go as far as last week, but I ran longer. And when I got home, I hopped on the treadmill to finish it out. No matter how uncomfortable I was, I showed up. I supported myself enough to go and do what I needed to do. Show up for yourself first and then you can do the things. Just show up and you will surprise yourself.