The day I decided not to settle.

The running journey  for me has been a long one. I have always been a runner and I clearly remember the day I decided to run my first half marathon. The aim was to just finish and finish I did…. Then I decided, being a distance runner, that a half marathon just wasn’t enough for me and I wanted to know what it was like to finish a marathon, and finish a marathon I did. Through this early journey the aim was to finish. I guess on reflection there was so much in my life that I didn’t ‘finish’. In high school I was dux of the school, yet I still didn’t manage for various reasons to go on and finish my tertiary education. Swapping and changing and really, at a stage in my life where I had absolutely no idea who I was or where really I wanted to go. This still haunts me to this day, feeling like a complete and utter failure, but running always remained a constant for me, even if I was just going for a jog around the block.

When I started RMA I started to learn so much more about running. Not just about form, what you should eat and drink, when you should rest, how to train etc, but about WHY I run. Running for me is a form of release. It is the only thing that I have that I feel gives me a sense of calm. My life is anything but calm and now, well it has kind of spiralled out of control, but the minute I lace up my shoes I know that I am going to accomplish something great out on the road or the trail.

When I run I think of so many things. Years and years of abusing my body with an eating disorder and how far I have come from that horrible dark time and how I view my body now as an amazing thing to love and cherish. How to manage living with a child with special needs. How to care for my family. Where I want to be in life. How I feel about my relationship with God. So many things, yet one day, one very special day the tables turned for me.

When I ran my first ultra event a few weeks ago I chose that event for a specific reason. In all the races that I had run, and all the journey so far I had been carried along the way by people. People running beside me, friends, the RMA community….The feeling of being alone really scares me and being a people person I have relied on people to help me along in every facet of my life so far.

This race was to be so different for me.

I knew that the race would be small. under 20 people in fact and that I would be running the majority of it on my own. To me this was a battle that I wanted to win with my mind. that I could achieve great things on my own. That I had worked hard and I would PROVE that I was capable of so much more than my mind tells me. And that I would finish what I set out to do.

That day I decided not to settle. I decided that, although I am no elite athlete, and probably will never be…although I am probably never going to represent my country for my running,  I am still going to give 100% to my cause. My cause being pushing myself to my limits, being thankful that I can run and using my amazing body to see just what I can achieve.

This means working hard, creating goals that others may laugh at but that I know are possible with hard work and determination. This means looking ahead, sacrifice and a clear vision. I don’t want to BE the best, I want to DO my best.

I want to please myself, no one else.

So watch this space…because this is only the beginning.

2 responses to “The day I decided not to settle.

  1. WOW…love this Nicole! …and probably just what I needed to hear as I am sitting here quietly terrified close to tears at the thought of being away from my family for 48 hours just to run 42.195 on the other side of a country that’s not my own, asking myself why on earth I am doing it lol. I am looking forward to watching you smash those goals xxx

  2. Loved reading this Nicole 🙂 it’s definitely a mind game this running thing. So easy to put one step in front of the other but to keep doing it for mins/hours on end … It can be a battle. Running the half in Adelaide was like your ultra for me. From the training to the actual event I did it all on my own. A first for me on many levels. I struggled with keeping at it many times as I’ve always needed someone in the past to keep motivating me and pushing me forward. Ending the race with no cheers from family and friends was a major let down at the time I had to keep telling myself “but u did it, u really really just did that!” Learning to be proud of myself without praise from others is probably the biggest thing the last 12 months of running has taught me. It’s shown me I can achieve something all on my own … Crazy it’s taken me almost 35 years to work that out 😉

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