Too scared to go fast, too afraid to slow down

That title pretty much says it all.

I’m afraid of going really fast.   What if I can’t sustain a faster pace?  What if my heart explodes in my chest and I die?   What if I injure myself and can’t run anymore.. or for a while?

Something that is dancing in the periphery of my minds light is this idea that I could actually push myself harder, to go further faster.   ‘Why won’t I do this?’, the shadowy me asks myself?  ‘What am I afraid of?’.   But my goodness, the excuses are strong there as one gets out close to that unknown ledge, that limit of physical ability or that precipice mental toughness.   So strong the question doesn’t get a chance to formulate – it’s just assumed that this is as fast as I’m going to go, and that.. is.. all.

And yes, YES!  I’m afraid for my health.   My heart, sure.   It’s scary and unsettling when you’re breathing harder than you’ve breathed since you were fifteen years old; when you tasted the coppery sting of blood in your mouth because you pushed so hard.   Back then, you went right back to it and didn’t slow down but now?   Oh not so fast!  

You’re older now and you have to be careful.

Like a race car engine, it stands to reason that if I keep pressing the gas I could eventually blow out my engine.   Once that happens, it’s over.. bring out the checkered flag, and who wants that?  (rhetorical lol)

But the other side of the whole thing is slowing down.   By this, I don’t mean my pace or my effort directly, but I do mean my training.   I’m terrified of slowing down.   

I MUST GET AT LEAST 40 MILES/WEEK!

So I go about my days thinking about how many miles I need to run to reach that goal.  Do I need to start running to/from work?   Can I really afford to taper before the half-marathon coming up?   Can I really afford that off-day?   Is it ok to skip a day when I don’t feel well or should I… suck it up, buttercup… TOUGH SHIT.   GO RUN.?   

I honestly feel guilty when I don’t run on a given day.   I’m afraid I’m going to lose a step in my training and be rusty then next day; I’m afraid I’ll forget how to run.   I’m afraid it will be easier to make excuses next time.. or the next.   I’m afraid of gaining weight. 

I’m afraid of quitting.

There it is.   I’m afraid of quitting.   I’ve always been such a good starter and I feel I’ve been a fairly lack-luster finisher, but with running, I’m still in it.. I haven’t quit.   Not yet.   And I’m afraid that if I take time off, or get hurt or make excuses – regardless of how legitimate they are – that I’ll slip away and quit.   

There’s one more thing.   I love to run.   I love that it’s on me whether I do this or not.   I love that I can get to a place that hurts and have the presence of mind to ask, “Can you give just a little bit more?” and then, reach down and give.. just a little.. bit.. more.   I love that there’s more to me than even I thought.  There are well-springs of strength, resolve and courage I haven’t begun to tap into yet.   There is kindness, gentleness, forgiveness and even love within me that lie unexplored, like a wild untamed continent, waiting for discovery.   

All I have to do, is press the boundries, push the limits and get the hell out of my comfort zone.

 

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