You’re not a runner, or maybe you’re a brand new runner. There’s a race coming up in a few months and it looks like fun. You’d love to sign up, but you’re scared you’ll come in last, or you won’t be ready, or people will laugh at you because, come on, you’re not a real runner.
Does this sound familiar? Is this you or someone you know?
The fear of being judged is so real for so many people and it makes it hard to start living life. I struggle with this too. My husband gets on me all the time for saying “eh, how big is the race? I don’t want to come in last.” Does it really matter if I DID come in last? Are people really judging me?
Or am I judging myself?
Think about the races you’ve been to. There is ALWAYS someone who comes in last (there has to be!) Do people boo at this person? Are they like, “wow, look at this loser? How slow can she be?” Maybe some asshole is, but for the most part, participants are super encouraging and helpful. They’ll cheer you on! They’ll respect you for getting up and DOING it and not sitting at home wishing you would have taken the chance. If you’re not part of the running community already, you’ll understand once you get involved. Runners are the most supportive and wonderful people to be around.
I tried to talk my friend into doing a 5k with me that ended with a huge party and free beer. My husband was out of town that weekend and I thought, how much fun would this be to do with some girlfriends! ALL of my friends told me that they “weren’t a runner” and that they “wouldn’t do well.” WHO CARES!?!?! IT IS FREE BEER AND LIVE MUSIC! They all gave up the prospect of a really fun night because they were scared to not fit in. One thing that non-runners or new runners should realize is that NOT EVERYONE at races is a professional or elite runner. Some people just like to be around the atmosphere. Some people do it for some Saturday morning exercise. At the Susan G. Komen 5k this year there was a group of people who finished at almost 2 hours who were eating Subway sandwiches as they walked the course and just had a great time. NO ONE JUDGED. It was fun for them and maybe they’ll come back and do another one. Maybe not. They supported their cause, got some food and music out of it, and had a good time.
Think about your life and how many times you have NOT done something because you feel like you’re “not ready” or you want to “get a little better at it” before you try. How detrimental is this to your life? If you would have just STARTED the first time you wanted to do it, then you would already be in the throws of it now and would be on your way to a better you. It could be a race, or it could a new job you want to apply for a new way of eating you want to try. Why do we always psych ourselves out? No one is paying attention to us but ourselves.
Perhaps because I’m a very judgmental person, I project my own thoughts onto others. The other day it was SO HOT when I was doing a 10 mile run. At mile 5, I thought, “Screw it. I’m taking off my shirt.” I was so self-conscious the whole time I was running. I felt great- I wasn’t nearly as hot anymore, but every time someone passed me, I was SURE they were staring at my stomach and thinking, “wow, that girl has a seriously white stomach” or “doesn’t she think she’s hot running around without her shirt on?” In truth, they probably didn’t give me a second thought. I WAS THE REASON I WAS SELF CONSCIOUS. I was projecting my own insecurities onto others. So stupid. NO ONE GAVE A CRAP ABOUT ME.
The next time you want to do something, just DO it. Don’t let YOU talk yourself out of it because you don’t think you’re ready or you don’t think you’ll do well at it. Maybe you won’t, but then again, maybe you will. If you have supportive people in your life (I’m so glad I do!) then let them know what you want to do and then DO IT!
Got a story to share that relates? Let me know!!