Running a 5k was always on my ever-growing list of things I wanted to do. It’s not a completely unattainable feat and nor is it far out of my means. So I figured there was no better time than now to get started. I registered for the Limestone Race in the winter, giving myself even more incentive to look forward to spring. On the day of the race, there was no turning back. I gained some valuable lessons along the way. In fact, the layers of lessons built up and kept me going.
1k: Everyone starts somewhere
When I showed up at the race, I felt like I didn’t belong. Who was I to all of a sudden to be a running aficionado and pretend I could be like the rest? Someone who wants to be. That’s good enough. There’s never going to be a right time to start a 5k, unless of course your physical health prevents you from doing so. It was time to stop dreaming of one day running a 5k and start doing it instead.
2k: Challenge over competition
After allowing the first lesson to sink in, I immediately let go of my urge to compete with others. This race was something for me and me alone. It was my time to focus on challenging myself rather than engaging in unhealthy competition. Keeping that thought in mind brought me to the next and most favourite lesson.
3k: There’s more beauty to Kingston than I’ll ever truly know
I had the chance to see a part of Kingston that I wouldn’t have otherwise known. Just when I thought I’ve seen all Kingston’s beauty, I am once again proven wrong. My urge to stop and take photos tingled with excitement but my urge to finish was far stronger. I learned that 5k race is a great opportunity to get to know your surroundings a little bit better. It’s a different type of wandering I soon came to discover.
4k: Follow the sound of your breath
This is when you know that my yoga sessions via YouTube were starting to take effect. In fact, I was grateful for doing all that yoga I had done beforehand. I’m a firm believer in its ability to boost endurance and strength.
5k: Accept your achievement with grace
Truth be told, at this point I was feeling slightly defeated by some of my fellow runners. At the same time I also knew that I was proud of myself for listening to my body and for pushing as far beyond my limits as I could. So as I was crossing the finish line and people cheered me on, I celebrated wherever I was.
All of these lessons can be applied both on and off the race track. Despite all the physical pain I felt, the emotional pain overruled it. So much so to the point that I’m ready to tie my laces for another race in the near future.
The overarching lesson I learned was the value in taking chances and to stop procrastinating on the things you want to achieve. If this post has inspired you to do the same, then I hope you’ll share the love by sharing this post!