Exactly two weeks ago, I traveled across the country to join my team of eight trail runners in Zion, UT, and run my first trail running relay race ever at an event called Ragnar. Prior to this, I had only run a 5k and it was over 15 years ago!
I would NOT call myself a runner, yet, we would be running a combined total of 120 miles at 6,000+ ft. elevation, with 1,500 ft. elevation gains, on trails, in summer heat. And some legs would be run over night, in the dark, in the wilderness, alone. I seriously never thought I would or could ever do this – until I did. I had made up so many excuses – inability, no time, fear – and yet, this non-runner ended up running15 miles in less than 24 hours, averaging 11 minute miles. Guess I can no longer say I am not a runner anymore!
The whole experience got me thinking of other times in my life where I had originally thought, “I could never do that!” but ultimately, I did just THAT.
- I could never move to another country for a job – until I did.
- I could never ride my bike 250 km in two days – until I did.
- I could never ask for that raise – until I did.
- I could never survive cancer – until I did.
- I know people who would never get divorced – until they did.
- I know friends who never had a relationship with their Dad as adults – until they did.
- I have family who never thought they could live with the loss of a child – until they did.
What became imminently clear was that NEVER was just another excuse holding me back from truly living my life. We never know what we are capable of until we come face to face with that NEVER – planned or unplanned. And what I now know to be true is that I (and everyone I have ever met) has always been able to handle the NEVER that they never thought they could. Even if it was messy!
Today, when I find myself wanting to think, “I could never do that!”, I use it as an invitation to get out of my comfort zone and give it a try anyways. We only have this one life and I keep surprising myself by what I actually CAN do when I allow myself the space to stop saying NEVER and instead experience my life!