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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just Start

I was a runner...once.  I wanted to be like my dad.  He ran track in high school and after.  So as soon as I had a chance to enter a meet, I did too.  I was in middle school and filled with dreams of the Olympics.  And I did okay.

After a few years, I learned that my heart wasn't really in the sport though.  My stomach was a mess of knots and dancing butterflies at the starting line.  This energizes some athletes, but it terrified me to be alone- to be running in circles with everyone watching me win or fail.  I hated that responsibility.  The fear held me back, and I lost interest after my freshman year of high school.  In my spirit, I quit.  However, I kept returning to the sport, because how else would I cure my after school boredom?

This is our girls' third year district track & field championship team.  I'm obviously so tough & serious.

So each spring, week after week, when the announcer called my event, I met the competitors on the track.  We listened to a coach go over the ground rules and assign our lanes.  I know I wasn't the only nervous kid out there.  We each joked with each other before the gun went off, in an effort to push aside our common fears.  There was always a fleeting thought to fake sick or injured and run to hide until the race was over. 

Then, the signal sounded. 

Who wants to be left standing like an idiot on the starting line while everyone speeds forward on their mission towards victory?

Not me.

So the decision to put my feet to the pavement, despite my insecurities overruled the temptation to flee.  What's the worst that could happen?  I could lose.  I could make a fool of myself and trip over my own feet.  True.

But I could also finish.  I could beat my best time.  I could place in the top 3 and score points for my team.  I could surprise myself.  I could win.

So why not try?  Why not just start...and see what could happen?

If you're a procastinator like I am, there a few things that I have realized keep me from starting:
  1. I'm afraid to fail.  I'm worried that it won't work out the way I hope.  
  2. I don't think I'm qualified.  I think someone out there can do this better than I can.  
  3. I wait for the perfect time to try.  Unfortunately, life is always full of interruptions.
So how do I overcome these self-defeating thoughts?

I remember the possibilities.
I anticipate a learning opportunity.
I hope for a wonderful outcome.
I pray for strength and courage.
I put my blinders on and look straight ahead.
I set a goal.

Then, I just start.
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