Monday

You're Stronger Than You Think You Are

I've mentioned running on occasion. If someone says that I'm a runner I make them do air quotes around the word and call me a "runner." It doesn't come naturally to me. I didn't start really running until my 30's. I am slow. My running plans never go how I want because there are few plans out there for 40-something beginners that are turtle-slow.
My last 5k. I finished before they cleared the course. 

Photo courtesy Celebrated Images

If you are a Facebook friend or follow me on Twitter you know that I run in the morning, sometimes horrifically early. I'm not necessarily a morning person, but that is when the running must be done if it is to get done.

My legs don't work well and my brain doesn't work well at still-too-dark hours of the morning. Thankfully, my brain only has to figure out to put one foot in front of the other and stay out of traffic. That much I can usually manage.

My legs take a while to get going on these runs. I give myself a few minutes to warm up and then begin to wonder why I didn't stay in bed.

Lately, though, a sentence has been echoing in my head. A sentence that has propelled me further and faster (relatively speaking, of course) than any training program or motivational thought.

Less than ten words spoken to me over a year ago keep my legs in motion.

When we first moved here (almost 2 years ago) God almost immediately brought me a running partner knowing that I needed the running to keep me sane and the partner to keep me faithful.

She is a much stronger runner than I am but is eternally patient and helped me get on track. I was discussing some training I wanted to do or something I hoped to accomplish but bemoaning my lack of ability.

And there it was:

"You're a stronger runner than you think you are."

I don't know if she was just filling the air -- though she isn't one to say something she doesn't mean -- or if she really believed that.

It doesn't matter.

What matters is that I believed it. Okay -- I didn't believe it at first. But I considered it as a possibility. So I somewhat tested it. Maybe I can run a little longer before a walk break. Maybe this isn't as fast as these legs will go.

My running partner has moved away. I am left to train on my own. It's been a tumultuous winter of illness and injury for me. But out the door I go, starting over again and again. My legs complain. My lungs burn. But I hear it.

"You're a stronger runner than you think you are."

So I keep at it. And run just a little more and a little more.

Turns out -- I really am a stronger runner than I thought I was.

It took just a few words of encouragement from someone for me to find that out. Someone else had to believe in me before I could believe in myself.

The power of encouragement. You are probably stronger -- physically and emotionally -- than you think you are. And you probably need to tell someone close to you that they are, too.

Great video about the power of one person believing in another:

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