I might do the Columbus Marathon this Sunday. I might not.
I’m signed up for it but I can’t say I care too much about whether I do it. This was not always the case. When I first started personal training, it was very important to me that I do at least one marathon a year. I felt it gave me credibility. I believed that if someone looked at me and accused me of not being fit enough, thin enough, strong enough, or fast enough to be a personal trainer, I could say, “yes but I’ve done the marathon.”
My own little street cred.
It worked for awhile, like counterfeit versions of things often do. But then I got hurt and couldn’t run. I was having the best year of running I’d ever had. 5K personal best, half marathon personal best and registered for the Air Force Marathon in Dayton. Then, back injury.
I was in pain, but not just from my wrecked SI joints and herniated disk. I was in pain from all the fear that came at me, because I’d been using distance racing to feel OK about myself; to justify myself and my dream career that I didn’t feel worthy of.
What would I do now? How would I earn my place? How would I prove I was good enough? That I was worthy? That I mattered?
And as all this fear was brought to light, I started wondering if anyone really cared if I did the marathon. Maybe this was a false belief. I’d already dealt with so many of them, this could be another. So I named it and sat with it. I am afraid that I am not good enough to be a personal trainer, and that I will be found out, exposed as a giant fraud, and left by everyone.
What freedom I found in even saying it! I had been working and working and training and training, in part because of fear. I thought I might not be good enough. I might not be worthy.
I started walking instead. WOW! Walking didn’t hurt and I loved it. Walking felt like it was for my body and soul, and not at all for street cred. I started to heal. I learned that what makes a good trainer is not her own ability to be healthy and fit, so much as her ability to encourage others to. I could do that! I am enough.
As the old false beliefs fell away, so did the compulsion to do more, run more, train more, work more. I got to slow down and find peace in my fitness. I got to take another step in healing that old I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy wound. What a gift.
I know we are not all marathoners. But I also know we all have our counterfeit ways of trying to justify ourselves and getting street cred. Listen, all that extra work, over work, over train, over strive is rooted in a Lie. This may apply to fitness, career, relationships, or family. The lie is you need to over-perform to be considered good enough, and you need to keep up that level of performance to prevent being exposed as a giant fraud. The truth is we all fall short. And we are good enough because we were born good enough, and nothing can take that away. Nothing can change that. No level of performance can ever damage or change who you are. You are perfect, beautiful, healed and whole.
So I’ll see you out there on Sunday! I’ll be walking and loving every minute of it.