The experience of training for – and running – my first marathon has given me a lot of things. It made me stronger, helped me make new friends and allowed me to check a big item off my bucket list.
But a sort of unexpected thing it gave me was a new motto (if you can call it that). Over the last few months anytime I’ve faced any sort of adversity, I’ve simply said to myself, “I ran a marathon, I can do anything!”
There has been many times since October that this one thought has motivated me almost instantly.
When I began to seriously think about applying to university to finish my Communications Degree I thought, “I ran a marathon, I can do anything!”
I have now been accepted to that degree program, am about to finish my first class and am on my way to earning that piece of paper.
When I attempted cross-country skiing for the second time in my life this winter I thought, “I ran a marathon, I can do anything!”
And on Sunday morning when I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed I thought, “I ran a marathon, I can do anything.”
See? It works in all kinds of situations.
Throughout my life I’ve always been pretty outwardly confident, but as someone who’s also pretty critical of myself, I tend to doubt myself a lot. Since finishing my marathon I feel like I have gained a deeper confidence than I’ve ever had. And I am not talking about the “I can do it” cheerleading you do to make yourself feel better before a big presentation at the office, but a more real confidence where I am not just telling myself I can do it, but actually know I can.
While this has been really good for me, I might have broached the over-confidence territory this winter. I made a solid commitment to myself to stay in shape and somewhere between strength training, an extra-hard effort in a 10-km race and a cold sprint for the bus stop — combined with a lack of caution due to my newfound strength and an old sciatic injury — I managed to injure myself.
The official diagnosis is a herniated disc (L5), and the recovery time is indefinite. According to my physiotherapist, having a lower back injury as early in my life as I did (I was 12), means I will likely be susceptible to those kinds of injuries for the rest of my life. Good to know I suppose…
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. After a few weeks rest and a few weeks of physiotherapy I am back to running up to an hour at a time. And this time I am back running with an extra dose of humility.
So do I still think, “I ran a marathon, I can do anything?”
But from now on I will be proceeding with a little more caution.