Growing up as a shy child standing in front of a group of people would have given me nightmares. It’s interesting how weaknesses become strengths over time. As I got over my shyness and started to be more outgoing, I discovered a love for people. Just as when I began to public speak I found out that I had a passion for being in front of an Audience. Over the past couple of years, I have had opportunities that have helped me to develop this talent and passion for speaking.
To enjoy the last year of my twenties I had the standard “things to do before I turned 30 list”…which has now been morphed into “things to do before I’m 31 list” because of its great length. One of the tasks on the list was to speak at an event. My dear friend Tracy told me about an opportunity to speak at the National Speakers Showcase, and we both signed up not knowing what to expect. Tracy is one of those friends that I know Heavenly Father placed in my life for a reason. I am always feeling inspired by her zest and passion for life.
Even though I signed up with a friend this goal was still a stretch for me. It was a room full of strangers, and I was sharing not only my personal experience but also my faith in God. This was not a religious event, so I was hesitant to bring up a topic that is so taboo. But I knew that I couldn’t share my experience without talking about God and how he had helped me. To top it off there were cameras filming which also added more pressure.
Once I got on stage, the nervousness was soon replaced with excitement and I was able to share my experience. I had two points where I stumbled, but that’s life nothings delivered perfectly. The number one thing I learned from this experience yesterday is how much fun it is to get out of my comfort zone. I met so many genuine, inspiring people yesterday and it was so much fun to see how everyone has a different style and personality. I left the event being proud of myself and the message I shared.
Here is the one of my rough drafts of what I talked about, a lot of it comes from things I have written in other posts. When the video is ready, I will make sure to post that as well.
What’s your Impossible?
Have you ever had a goal that just seemed impossible? You thought to yourself that would be so sweet…..but I could never do that! In 2008, I had one of those goals, and that was to run a Marathon. Now my grandma described as being a “thick” child. Which is a polite way for older people to say you’re fat. As I started training and ran 5 miles and 10 miles, I experienced the high of clocking mileage that I never thought was obtainable. After a while race day had come and I was PUMPED!!! August 23, 2008, is a day that is engrained in my mind. As I started the race I was so excited that this day I had trained for was finally here. After a few miles that excitement faded, and I thought WHAT DID I SIGN UP FOR? It was a beast of a race!!!!!!There were more hills than the Himalaya!!! There were many times that I wanted to tap out and throw in the towel. But then I would think of the finish line and how great it would feel to take that last step across the sweet line of victory. That image propelled me forward. Soon I only had 9 miles left, then 6 miles. Then I was told the finish line was just around the corner. As I was rounding the bend, the unthinkable happened. I BLACKED OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When I woke up twenty minutes later, I was in an Ambulance being rushed to the hospital. My first thought was, “DID I FINISH?” I was told that I was just 400 feet away from the finish line. I thought, “Are you serious!!!! 400 lousy feet kept me from my goal” My parents tried to make me feel better by saying that the Ambulance drove me over the finish line so technically I crossed it. But that didn’t count!!!! I was mortified, and this soon became a story that I never talked about because it was so humiliating.
This experience ignited a desire within me. Not only was I going to finish a Marathon but I was going to do it in a time that only the elite runner could accomplish. A time that would qualify me for the MOTHER OF ALL RACES, the Boston Marathon. I would have to run 26.2 miles of 3 hours and 35 minutes which was an IMPOSSIBLE task considering the fact that before I so gracefully fainted my time was at over 8 hours. Now some of you might be thinking Girl your slow!!!! But do you want to know what a challenge really is? Not those guys who finish in 2 hours and 30 minutes. When they are at the pool chugging down Gatorade, I was still out there shuffling along. 8 hours that’s a whole day’s work!!! Even though I might have been slower than a tortoise I knew that one day that would change.
Every year I would run my 18, and 20 milers and then I would give up. I would think there is no way I would get fast enough. This was a pattern that continued every year until last year. I had one of those Ah Ha moments as I was listening to a man talk about how he had a desire to play the piano. He started to pray to God before and after he practice and after time, that desire soon became a reality. It hit me that here I had been trying to do this by myself. So I decided to experiment and started to pray before and after and often during my runs just pleading with God to help my legs run quicker. After a couple of weeks, I shaved off more than 13 minutes from my time. Now some might say of course you’re going to get faster as you train, but I knew it was not a coincidence. I knew that I was receiving help from God.
This experience gave me the confidence to sign up for another marathon. I want to fast forward to the last 400 feet of the race. As I heard the finish line was just around the corner, I thought. “Oh NO this is it. I’m going to pass out”. But guess what I didn’t pass out!!!! And guess what I crossed that finish line!!!! And as I looked at the board and saw my time of 4:37 minutes I knew that once God had helped me to get faster!!I had shaved my time in half from my first marathon. And I knew what once was an impossible task was now realistic as I only had 62 minutes to shave off my time.
Lately, I have been sharing with everyone my experience, and I love to meet me that have qualified for Boston. I get so excited and ask how long it took them to train? I often hear, “Oh it was such a doozy I trained a few months.” I think to myself I secretly HATE you!!!!! It has taken me over eight years of long runs and sore muscles, and I’m still not there. But then I remind myself that maybe qualifying for Boston isn’t their impossible goal. Maybe their impossible is Getting out of debt, or getting out of bed, or starting up that dream business, or talking to that crush they have been eyeing for weeks…we all have different impossible.
One day I will cross that sweet line of victory and see those glorious numbers on the board showing a time of 3 hours and 35 mins. Then I will shout with joy because after almost a decade my IMPOSSIBLE with finally be POSSIBLE and I WILL QUALIFY FOR THE BOSTON MARATHON!!!!
Next time you think I can’t do that, or that’s impossible. Remember these wise words,
“For with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37)