This weekend I did something I never thought I would do. I completed my first 5k!! The reason this means so much to me is because I had to overcome a lot of fears and insecurities- ones that go all the way back to when I was a kid.
In elementary school we used to do this thing around Thanksgiving called the Turkey Trot. All the kids in each grade would compete in a mile run. As the thick, unathletic girl that I was I would always come in last. This of course lead to teasing and/or pitty from the other kids.
I thought this was something I had put behind me until recently. When my friends suggested I do a 5k I immediately felt everything I would feel about the Turkey Trot in elementary school. I was anxious, apprehensive, uncomfortable, insecure, and a whole lot of other negative feelings. Then I had to realize- I’m not in elementary school anymore. It was time to grow and overcome the insecurities and fears I had as a kid.
With all of that being said, here are a few things that lead to me successfully growing past my elementary school fear.
I had about 8-9 weeks to prepare for this 5k and I took it seriously. I wasn’t trying to break any records, but I wanted to have the endurance to finish it. There was no way I could do that without building myself up first. After completing this one though, I would prepare differently if/when I do my next 5k. Actually working out outside instead of on the treadmill probably would have prepared me better.
The Right 5k
We did the Color Run which is super laid back and low key when it comes to racing. To call this a race would be a stretch. There were so many positive vibes, people chilling and taking their time, kids running around- all the things you’d see at a cute park and not a 5k race. Of course there were a few people really running, but instead of being intimidated I just felt motivated by them. All of these things lead to the 5k actually being fun and not too serious. It was a perfect first 5k.
I had to stay in my own lane. There was no reason for me to compete with anyone else. In the words of Cardi B, “I’m my own competition, I’m competing with myself, brrr.” Before the 5k I told myself I had 3 hours to finish it. I was being generous with myself for my first time. I actually ended up finishing in 1 hour and 5 minutes. That’s less than half the time I gave myself. So in a competition with myself and my expectations, I’m pretty sure I won.
I don’t think I could truly express how thankful I was to have my friends motivating me through this 5k. I kept it at a cute speed walk with the occasional jog. My friends would run and then wait for me at different points. As I got closer to them they’d cheer me on. In some cases they’d even doubled back to continue with me at my pace. They weren’t worried about their own time or speed. They were just having fun with me and understanding what a milestone this was for me. It was so beautiful and I truly appreciate them for it.
I’m so thankful for this experience and my growth as a person. Who knows? Maybe I’ll keep doing 5k events. Maybe one day I’ll do a marathon. All I know for sure is that the fears and insecurities around these things no longer exist. Elementary school Lisa no longer exists in the present!