Have you ever doubted your ability to achieve something that is important to you?
It might be getting the perfect job or settling into a new city. Like everyone I have those doubts too. They might not be big achievements like I mentioned, hell most of the time I am just happy to get my kids to school on time, but they are still important to me. My biggest and most frequent doubt is about running. Living with endometriosis has given me a fear of failure I never knew existed.
I love to run. I didn’t always and for a time – I was fat. I was diagnosed with endo at 18 and used it as an excuse to eat. Then I decided to run. Eat less and get fit. Hey, if those fit elite athletes could do it then why couldn’t I?
Apparently being 40 kilos overweight had something to do with how hard it was. But as I lost more weight and got fitter I realised I loved it. I loved the new me. But my health was always an obstacle. Whether it was having to have surgery every year, horrible meds with side effects or the unbearable pain I had almost every day, my health tried to take away the one thing I loved doing. Through sheer stubbornness I kept at it though and that’s how I come to running in fun runs.
This year I ran a 14km fun run. I didn’t think I could do it. I signed up at the last minute after having to talk myself into it for 2 months. And yet I went out there and ran so hard and so fast I beat all my own PB’s. It gave me such a rush – I felt invincible.
But now I fear that I won’t ever run like that again. My running has slowed so much it feels like I am walking and my pain is terrible. I am already starting to forget the joy I had running that fun run because of the doubts creeping back in. I can’t stand it but can’t seem to stop it.
Every single time I go out to run those same doubts surface. What if my pelvis hurts? What if my hip hurts? What if I am slower today than my last run? So many what if’s – it hardly makes running worth it and yet after each run I feel great. My mind is clearer and no matter what my time is or how much I hurt; I feel I have achieved something.
Having suffered depression and anxiety over the years, and still suffering with anxiety, I have found it is the one thing that helps keep my head clear. But running almost creates its own anxieties to the point I question my sanity. Seriously, why do I do this?
But I know tomorrow as I lace up those damn expensive shoes yet again, put in my headphones, and choose my music and start running the doubts will be there again. And while I will have to talk myself into every step I will love it at the end. The freedom it gives me hasn’t been taken away by my endo or by those doubts. Not yet anyway.