I have a confession to make… I have a history of quitting.
I think I was born with a hyper sensitive flight or fight reaction. When something is hard for me, my first reaction is always to quit. And more times then I’d like to admit I have given into that voice.
A perfect example was in college when I was having panic attacks in class and instead of pushing through I went home and ran away from the problem. I took a semester off. Of course I came back and finished but my natural reaction when I’m pushed to the edge is to get out of the situation.
Diets were always the same way. I’d do good for awhile but then if times got tough I’d quit. If I wasn’t losing fast enough I’d quit. If the workout was tough I’d quit.
See a pattern here?
As I mentioned here on the blog, my friend talked me into doing a Couch to 5k program. Today I started week 4.
A little background on me and running. We hate each other. Seriously for as long as I can remember I could not run. I avoided it like the plague. I was that kid in gym class with the note to get out of running the mile.
When I started this journey I could not even walk up one flight of stairs without being out of breath. So the idea of me as a runner has always been laughable. But each week I’ve met the challenges.
And much to my surprise, I’m starting to love running. It’s a true challenge. It scares me. Yet I feel amazing when I finish. It’s truly life outside of my comfort zone.
This week my 5k training is insane. The challenge is to run 3 minutes, walk 90 seconds, and then run 5 minutes. Run 5 minutes?? Without stopping? That’s like a whole song and a 1/2 of running!
How on earth am I going to pull that off?
And not only did I have to do that once… I had to do it twice! Twice!
To say I was intimidated would be an understatement.
So tonight I headed to the Y to do my workout. I walked 2 miles to warm up and then made my way down to the treadmill.
I put on my music and started. First 3 minutes was easy. I felt good. Even the first 5 minutes went fast with Bastille’s Pompeii playing in my ears. I was pretty confident.
But then came round 2.
And although Bastille was singing “I’m going to be an optimist about this…” I was anything but optimistic. It was like I hit a brick wall.
I started to get super tired in the first 3 minute run. Sweat started to roll down my face. My breathing increased. My heart was pumping hard.
And somewhere near the end of that 3 minutes came the familiar voice in my head I was used to my whole life.
Okay Mandi just quit. You can’t do this.
I’ll admit I considered it but then I finished the 3 minutes and started to walk my 90 seconds.
But I still had the dreaded 5 minute run to go.
I started the run. The voice came back.
It’s okay Mandi, just stop. It’s too hard.
I could have quit. No one was there. No one would know. And hey I did it once so that was something.
But then I remembered I don’t quit anymore.
The thing is, I’m a completely different girl now then I was 8 months ago. That girl on the right quit. She gave in. She preferred to stay in her comfort zone. She hated being afraid and would do anything she could to avoid that feeling. The girl on the left?? Well she refuses to quit. She lives outside her comfort zone. She’s smashing expectations. She won’t be stopped. She came too far.
So I turned up my earphones to a deafening level and drowned out my doubts. I couldn’t say that I couldn’t do this… because I was doing it. Quitting wasn’t an option. I had to finish. I kept running. I looked at the clock often, I was out of breath. But I kept going.
And I, the woman who can’t run… ran 16 minutes of a 31 minute treadmill workout.
Quit? Not today… not today.