Emotions that Drive you
I still remember running my first race... two friends were with me. We had trained, planned and prepared for this race together. But even during the early morning hours and training runs and all of the pushing ourselves... I could have never prepared myself for what happened next...
It was about 3/4 of the way through our 10K race, and I started to feel frustrated. I felt hot, fatigued and I just didn't know if I had it in me to keep going. Suddenly my mind went somewhere else... It started to think of my Dad. I started to think of all of the times he teased, taunted and made fun of me in one way or another. Don't get me wrong, he's also a very fun, kind, loving and generous person. But unfortunately for me, I didn't always get to experience him that way as I was growing up.
I got more and more angry as I started running. I pictured all of the times I felt my heart break at the things he said about me, how he would compare me and my sisters to each other, or jokingly tell me I had good "birth bearing" hips like my mom, and was porking up or had flabby arms, and so on.
You are probably thinking, jeez, what a jerk!! Well yes. But unfortunately his own life circumstances and time served over in Vietnam during the war, did not serve him well. It left him with severe PTSD (back then no one really knew what that meant) and a life filled with haunting memories, sleepless nights and spontaneous and sporadic behavior that none of us in our family ever saw coming or knew how to handle. He was constantly dealing with his own demons and taunting voices from his past. And it translated into a life of people being hurt, offended or completely confused by him.
And my experience was no different. As a young teenage girl, I was dealing with my own changing emotions and trying to figure out my own identity and self worth, self confidence, etc.
And when my Dad treated me the way he did, it left me self conscious, confused and downright angry.
And this is the emotion I hit that day in the race. ANGER!! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU EVER DID THIS TO ME DAD. I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU TEASED ME LIKE THAT. YOU PROBABLY THOUGHT I COULD NEVER TAKE CARE OF MY BODY AND DO SOMETHING HARD LIKE THIS RACE!!!!
These were the thoughts coming into my mind.... Because you see Running started to break down the walls and barriers that had been hiding my emotions. It caused me to dig deep to find the strength to push through, and then I found other things.... Other hidden emotions.
In a lot of ways, this is where my story began. Running helped me work through one hard thing at a time. Changing my life one step, one run and one push at a time...
That day my motivation came from anger. I took off the last quarter of a mile, and I ran as fast as I could until the end.. I ran until I could barely breathe, I ran until I felt sick, I ran until I felt like I was going to pass out... Anger was my motivator that day.. Anger pushed me past those tough race miles, it fueled me to the finish...
Whatever that emotion is for you, you can push through it. The only way out of it, is through it. And if it takes anger, sadness, excitement... whatever it be for you. Just go with it!! And allow it to fuel you!!