I ran the CVS 5k in Providence, R.I., today. Let me say that again to make sure even I believe it: I RAN THE CVS 5K TODAY!
Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite form of exercise is picking up the remote to watch TV. So this is a remarkable achievement for me.
For the past several years, every two years or so I have pulled myself off the couch to train for this 5k. And once I do it, I return to the coach. The last time I did this was six years ago, I think. I decided to try it again by starting to train nine weeks ago. I signed up for the race before I started to train to make sure that I would stay on track and go through with it. It has been physically challenging, but the biggest hurdle has been developing brain power. I needed to believe that I could do this.
I learned from this experience, yet again, that the brain is powerful. I decided on a goal, prepared, and mentally decided that I would run this entire race without stopping.
Did a woman talking on a cell phone pass me by? Yes. Did babies in strollers zip pass me? Yes. Did I run 15-minute miles? Yes, indeedy. But I ran. I did it! And I didn’t die, and I didn’t come in last (there were 7,000 people participating).
I timed the last song on my new IPod to be the theme from Rocky, “Eye of the Tiger.” I pictured his run through Philadelphia and up those steps, as I climbed my last hill to the finish line. I hi-fived my husband and son as they waited for me at the end. Knowing that they would be there to see me finish line kept me going.
There were times during the training when I feared that I wouldn’t be able to run this race. And during training I never even got beyond the 2-mile mark. So I knew I would have to rely on brain power to push me to the 3.1-mile finish line. I decided that I would feel the fear, acknowledge it, say, “OK, you are afraid, so what?” and then keep going.
This is a good lesson for me as an artist.
Being an artist is scary sometimes. You fear failing. So what? Just do it, work through it, move on, and reap the rewards.