I’m thrilled to participate in a sweepstakes sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, which premieres Wednesday August 28th at 10/9c only on Investigation Discovery
Two years ago I accomplished something that, when I set out on the five month journey it took to achieve, I truly did not believe I would be able to do. In fact, it was something that I had attempted once before and failed: Running a half marathon, and through my training, raising over $3,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
We want to hear about YOUR stories of overcoming odds, and we have a $500 SpaFinder gift card to give away (details are at the end of this post)!
In the great scheme of things, when you consider what some incredible people face and overcome in their lives — surviving wars, famine, devastating disabilities, heartbreaking losses — running 13.1 miles in a row really doesn’t seem like that big of a deal. But to me, it was. It was HUGE. It was so big, that the process totally changed something about how I see myself, and what I believe about myself. I wrote about it at the time, and turn back to my very own words when I find myself in need of a reminder that I really can do the things I put my mind to — even if I don’t think those things are “possible.”
This experience came to mind when I was asked to participate in this program for Investigation Discovery’s new series “Surviving Evil,” which features empowering true stories, told by victims who fought their attackers and against the odds, survived.
No, I didn’t fight off an intruder, or rescue a child from a burning building. Instead, I fought again the demons in my own heart and head: the demons of self-doubt, of discouragement, of believing in my own limitations. Here’s part of what I wrote after I accomplished a milestone training run, a few weeks before the marathon:
I just ran ten miles. In a row. Like … miles … ran … in a row … I can’t believe it.
It was hard, and I practically crawled the last two miles (if you can picture someone crawling on two legs, that was me)… but still I DID IT. I just did something that a couple of months ago I really, really thought would be impossible to for me to do. I mean it. When I started this process of training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, about four months ago, I did not actually believe I could really do it. I mean, I couldn’t imagine it. I could not run one mile in a row. Literally.
But more than the physical exertion required, I did not believe that I would be able to stick with something like this. I never have been able to before.
I got home from my 10-mile run about an hour and half ago. I’m so tired, and I have a blood blister on my foot, and I am still totally daunted by the thought of the full, 13.1 miles course in San Francisco complete with hills … here I am, in sweaty running clothes because I’m too tired to get changed, and I realized I just did that! I started a venture even though I could not — could NOT — imagine it working out.
And I just found myself in tears and I know part of it is that I’m exhausted and full of crazy running hormones, but the other part is that … I realized that with my run today, I just undid a thought that I have had about myself my whole life. I have always believe that there were some (many) things I just couldn’t do. I thought somehow I was mentally / spiritually / physically incapable of fundamental change. That I was who I was, and would only ever be able to accomplish anything in my sort of accidental way. That my life was more about luck, and finding myself in the right spot at the right time, or meeting the right people, or sort of ending up somehow somewhere good. Things just happened TO me … not because I purposely created them, not because I put my mind to something and stuck with it.
I did not believe I was a stick-with-it kind of person. Like, fundamentally, at my core. And now, I think, I just realized, that’s not true. That limiting, limiting thing I believed about myself is NOT TRUE. I can’t even begin to describe this feeling — it’s almost physical — I feel the breaking up and dispersing of some … I don’t know. Some THING that was inside me that I thought was part of me but really was a false, fake shell. I thought it was part of ME, but it was not.
When I first started this process, I could not imagine how I could ever possibly make it. How could I? I’ve never even been able to keep a “morning journal” for more than two mornings in a row! (Or stick with any freaking thing that required me to stick AT something that didn’t come easily). But for some reason I’ve just kept going, even though for months I literally could not imagine the outcome really being that I not only raised the amount of money I pledged to raise for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, but RAN thirteen (POINT ONE!) friggin’ miles.
But today? I still have three more weeks until the actual run, a blood blister, and crunchy knees. I have long way to go. But me, today, for the first time since I started, I believe I can do it.
And if I can do this ….
And I did do it. That October day two years ago, I ran 13.1 mile through the hills and streets of San Francisco, along the breathtakingly beautiful Pacific Ocean, and across a finish line that I never thought I’d see. Since then, I’ve run another half-marathon, and become a volunteer coach for Girls on the Run, an incredible organization that uses the power of running to inspire young girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident.
I don’t know if I’ll ever do another half marathon (my knees aren’t very happy that I did the first two!), but at the ripe old age of 35, running became a part of my life. Not just physically, but also in my heart — it’s a constant reminder to myself that even if part of me thinks something is impossible, the rest of me can just ignore that voice, and go on about achieving my dreams and goals.
NOW! About that $500 SpaFinder gift card! To enter to win, tell us in the comments below: “What is an obstacle or fear that you’ve been able to overcome?”
I can’t wait to read your replies!
This sweepstakes is sponsored by Investigation Discovery’s new series Surviving Evil, premiering Wednesday, August 28 at 10/9c. Told in their own words, victims reveal how they fought their attackers and survived against amazing odds. Learn more at InvestigationDiscovery.com/SurvivingEvil and empower yourself with five life-saving tips at IDFiveToSurvive.com.
Rules: No duplicate comments. You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry. This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected. The Official Rules are available here. This sweepstakes runs from 8/14/13-8/28/13. Be sure to visit the Investigation Discovery: Surviving Evil brand page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ true stories of courage and survival and find more chances to win.