I stand in the mash of runners. Anticipating the start of the race. I breathe in the atmosphere; the feeling of tension the feeling of anxiety. Embracing the nerves as friends – I know this shows respect for what I’m about to do. Respect for the distance. Respect for my body, respect for my heart, soul and mind – together these elements of me become a team, without all of them I can not succeed.
I am a runner. Long gone are the feelings of awkwardness. A race number pinned to my shirt? This is my normal. Those feelings of not belonging here, of wanting to apologise for being here because I don’t belong? They are clear memories, but distant. This is my native territory. This is where I belong.
Closing my eyes I remember the training runs. The swimming and cross training. The dedication to my training program. The runs are done, deposited in the run bank ready for withdrawal right now. I remember my race plan. I am ready to take on the distance. Own race, own pace. My mind is strong, my mantras are primed. When the tough times come I am ready to keep on running because I know I can.
Opening my eyes I look down at my running shoes. I click my heels three times and say Take me to the finish line, take me to the finish line. My eyes focus off into the distance, beyond the heads of the runners close around me. I focus on the road ahead knowing I will succeed.
The gun sounds and we are off. We are ready to chase down our dreams and make them come true.
I am a runner. I can do this.
Happy running 🙂