I am not fast.
I am not structured.
I am not a marathoner.
But I run.
Slowly and methodically. Watching my path and every step I take. Ignoring cruel words when they accost my ears. Panting, sweating, and cursing my fat feet for agreeing to this journey of self-improvement.
I never thought I would ever run. I do not partake in it often as I prefer to walk, briskly, as running is a challenge for me. I have improved greatly, but can only run for 5-10 minute intervals. I sometimes feel bad for that, feel ashamed, then I stop and take a step back and realize that I could not run for a minute, seriously not for sixty seconds, earlier this year.
I run not because I want to but because I need to get my cardio in. I need to push myself, I need to amp up my work outs a notch. Because if I don't, I fear I will destine myself to the unhealthy future I was well on my way towards before accepting and pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
When I run, I feel completely vulnerable and exposed when I force one jiggly thigh to push past the other, creating a friction, a fire that makes its way and its home in my core. Everyone who passes me or who I pass can see my struggle. They can see my slow gait. They can see my labored breath. They can easily spot I am an amateur, that I barely know what I am doing.
I do not care who sees my sick sweat stains anymore. Who notices I have to force myself to keep going. I am not aiming for perfection, I am simply trying to encourage myself to keep going, to make good on changing my life and my habits.
That uncomfortable fire fuels me to keep going. It forces me to continue what I started. It forces me out of my comfort zone.
A simple act that I have improved on slowly since the beginning of the year has helped me gain confidence. It has encouraged me to try new events, push myself farther and believe in myself.
It has shown me what happens when we decide to emerge from the safety of our comfort zones. It did not show me promise how easy life would be for me. It did not show me how behind and how much time I have already wasted. Rather, when I parted with my comfort zone, the universe showed me what was out there, what was possible , what I could achieve. It did not show me that it would be easy or that I would not fail. It simply pointed out what was out there for me.
Ending that specific comfort zone, of not sweating, exerting myself and being afraid of what people would say, instilled some confidence and helped me embrace a world I was not a part of, it helped me set and meet new goals, and it helped me learn who I am, what I am capable of and realize I can shape myself into who I want to be, I just have to keep my options, and my mind, open.