I am easily intimidated whether it’s in work, in athletics, in skill, in walking in heels, in life. I am intimidated by most things, often people.
Well, actually, that needs a caveat.
If I am watching someone else do their job like a boss, I am in awe.
If I am a spectator at a sporting event, I am a cheerleader.
If I am witness to a skill performed masterfully, I am impressed.
When I see a model walk in 4-inch heels down a cat walk, I am wowed.
When I see someone working life like it’s their J-O-B, I am inspired.
But when I am in a situation where I am asked to do the same task, next to greatness, I am intimidated. I am meek. I back down. I want to avoid, evade, escape.
I want to hide. I shrink from the possibility of comparison or embarrassment.
But this week, I did something differently and it feels liberating and terrifying all at once.
On Saturday, my husband texted me about meeting a woman at work who is an ultrarunner. You may be thinking “so what? You both are ultrarunners, too.”
But she’s a real one, not a hack like us. This woman has an impressive resume:
Burning River 100
The list goes on…
So back to my story… John asks me what I am doing the following Saturday and says he’s found me a training buddy.
I am thinking surely he doesn’t mean this ultrarunner he’s just gone on about. Oh no, but it is!
She is willing to meet me at Great Seal State Park in Chillicothe and show me around.
My first instinct was to say, “thank you but I will pass.”
I was going to say no, not because I didn’t want to but because, you may have guessed, I was intimidated.
“I can’t hang with this woman,” I said to myself.
“She’s a baller and I am well… not!”
The excuses and the comparisons continued in rapid succession.
“I don’t want to hold her back or ruin her training day waiting on me.”
John insisted that I contact her.
The foot dragging continued for another day.
Then I found out she ran a race I am familiar with recently. I decided that if her finish time was in the ball park of what I could do, then I would call her.
Well, she’s faster than me but I think I could be in the neighborhood of her pace. A distant neighborhood.
John then regaled me with how nice she and her husband are and that she’s a student of the sport. When she doesn’t do well at a race or has trouble she makes it her mission to solve the problem and move forward better for it.
I have so many goals for my running, not the least of which is completing 100 miles.
As I pondered this opportunity I also realized she might be the missing link. This woman might be the training partner, mentor, inspiration, teacher that I need.
And the only thing in my way is me.
I swallowed hard, called her and said yes.
We’re meeting a week after the Nashville 50K to do an 8-mile run.
I hope for 8 miles I can fake having it together.
After I spoke with her I had such a sense of euphoria. Later than night I told my husband that I felt like this was/is a turning point for me.
I am still nervous and terrified but I want 100 miles more than I want/need to save face. At least I hope so.
I wanted to say yes more than I wanted to play it cool.
As the wise, or really annoying people say, nothing amazing ever happens inside your comfort zone. So I am officially out of comfort, out of my zone, and also out of excuses.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G