Don’t worry…I cringed when I wrote that title. How cliché, right. Well, much to my dismay, it’s the only four-letter headline that fits my post this week because I literally ventured into the unknown.
I’m taking you where?!
Last Sunday I had a 14 mile run on my agenda and I couldn’t get my a** out the door in the morning so I decided to do my run at night. Also, as you may remember from one of my earlier posts, I like to run 1/2 of the miles away from my condo, and then turn right round and come back. But with 14 miles on my plate I just couldn’t stomach running 7 miles away from my house and then turning around for the other.
So instead I took to Google Maps and mapped out a run that would start 14 miles away from my condo, I’d get a ride to the start, and then run all the way home.
The thing is, 14 miles north took me waaaaaaay into the north of Toronto; into North York in fact. Not even in Toronto.
Yikes! I’ve never even been to North York before. Well, I guess now’s as good a time as any.
My boyfriend and I got into the car and he started driving me to my starting point and as we got farther and farther and farther away from home he looked at me with a look of you’ve got to be fracking kidding me! I’m taking you where?!
The Road less travelled
(Wow! Apparently the cheezy headlines are just oozing out of me tonight! I’m on fire!)
Well, this was for me, very literally, the road less travelled. Or, actually, the road never travelled.
I made sure that my run start was in a highly-populated area just off of Young Street in North York, and as my boyfriend (hesitantly) pulled away,I felt so alone and so off-kilter. What a bizarre feeling to be dumped into what felt like the middle of nowhere 14 miles away from everything that brings me comfort and familiarity. Obviously, I’m being dramatic because comfort was just a tap of my Uber app away, but as I started running I thought, “Wow. I’m a 35 year-old woman and I’m so stuck in my comfort zone!” How disheartening!”
Slow and steady
So here I was: 14 miles away from home in a place I’ve never been before, running at night (as opposed to the early morning when I usually run) and all alone.
The only thing I wanted to do was get home quickly but I knew that if I blew my legs out on the first few miles trying to run too fast, I’d never make it home feeling like a champ – and that’s so badly what I wanted. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do this. That I could feel uncomfortable in the uncertainty. The only way to get home was to put one foot in front of the other and go slow and steady.
The lesson is in the pavement
For those 14 miles I decided to turn off my music and think about other areas of my life I might be feeling uncertain, or scared, or unsteady. I let my brain go into all those spaces that I hadn’t been aware of and I just let myself feel uncertain about it all.
That’s such a human thing to feel fear or uncertainty or unsteadiness and to try to think our way out of it. But that’s not the point. The lesson is to trust ourselves and trust the universe’s plan for us and to let it go and let it be. No amount of uncertainty can taint who we are at our core. We are strong.
And what do you know!? I broke so many records that night for myself. There is beauty in the unknown, but we have to let it be revealed to us, and that takes a whole lot’ta courage.
See you on the trails, friends!
Days until the Marathon: 50