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Did You Ever Wonder What You Are Capable Of? Maybe it's Time to Find Out


Saturday, June 15, 2013



What would you do if...
everyone knows the end of that sentence...if you knew you could not fail.
What if the reason we fail sometimes is because we expect to?

Let me tell you a little story of a conversation I had with a friend a few days ago:

Me: "I need to get started running again or I am not going to be able to race this summer."

Him: "What are you training for, 10K or a half?"

Me: "No just a 5K, then a sprint tri."

Him: "Why are you training for a 5k?"

Me: "I haven't run in over a year, since I had PF- I couldn't run a mile right now."

Him: "What is PF? Wait a minute...you actually believe that don't you?"

Me: "I know it. I can run for about 5 minutes before I feel like my lungs are on fire and I have to walk."

Him: "That's bull_____(insert spark unfriendly term here) Hollynn. You don't really believe that do you?"

Me: "Um, yeah...I think so"

Him: "So you cycled 60 miles yesterday and you think you can't run 3 miles. You're kidding right? You are in shape. Put on your shoes and just keep going. "

Me: "Really, you think I could run 3 miles? Without training? I am not a naturally athletic person like you are."

Yeah, that's where the conversation became silence. Followed by more conversation of "you don't really believe that do you." But I do, or....I did.

I went home and for two days I couldn't get that conversation out of my head. I have never liked running. My lungs burn, things jiggle and in general I hate every second because I feel clumsy and slow. It NEVER would have occurred to me that I could run that far without training. Now fellow sparks I am not advocating for advancing your running too fast or in general avoiding training, but you have to understand - I just wanted to know if he was right. I wanted to know if I was an "athletic person" who could just put on tennis shoes and run a 5K because I felt like it.

So tonight, I got on the treadmill.
I know you know where this is going...
But it is still amazing me...

I turned up the music on the ipod and tried to ignore the numbers. The first two minutes were hard, but I just focused on keeping my feet moving. After about 15 minutes I was amazed and actually started to settle down into a pattern. About 30 minutes in 1 felt a little tired but not so bad I had to stop, especially given I felt like I was doing so well. And the next thing I know - my 5K run is done. It wasn't my best 5K time ever, but it wasn't bad either.



So my brain is still reeling from the implications of this:
How long have I been able to do this?
Am I an athlete?
How much further could I have gone
Interesting questions
More importantly : I wonder what else I am capable of. Yeah, I totally want to find out.


ADDENDUM 6/16/13
Apparently this blog has created some negative feelings about me for a few people who commented on my now deleted status posts, posted here (some deleted) or sent emails.
To clarify:
I have run MANY 5K and 10K races as well as triathlon. That doesn't make me a confident runner necessarily. I do consider myself athletic in skiing and cycling, I just think that I still feel limited by my weight somewhat (I am still 30-40lbs overweight, even with my muscle mass and yes, I know what my fat percentage is and it isn't low - so things jiggle and shake). I am also asthmatic and quite honestly, running just makes me anxious. One of my long term goals is overcoming my aversion to running and I thought this was a positive step in the right direction - and I thought it was something others might identify with. It does NOT mean I have a huge self identity or self esteem problem. I try to keep my posts positive and was surprised by the backlash on this one. If you feel the need to write something negative please send to my email and don't post publicly.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CAROBEAR1 7/27/2013 8:32AM

    Getting back on SP and reading this blog was perfect timing......I just did 2 5Ks in a weeknd late June...one running and one walking....working my way up to it with a C25K program...
Now one month later I talk myself out of being able to do 8 minutes of running....and while on the treadmill seem to negotiate myself down to only doing 6....
Going to have to think like this as well.....and should just do it!!

Hope you're feeling better....

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FABAT402009 7/2/2013 11:28PM

    Great job! :)

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SIMONEKP 7/2/2013 1:18PM

    Nicely done! I have PF and it makes me scared of running.

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BARBARAROCKSIT 6/29/2013 12:34AM

    Isn't this the most amazing journey of self discovery and self challenges?

Keep rockin' the journey Hollynn!

{P.S. I was formerly Fitby50too - I changed my name because my brain wanted to explode every time I saw it emoticon }

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CHANDTE 6/23/2013 7:55PM

    That's seriously awesome!! Very inspirational and I can TOTALLY relate!! :) Great job!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/18/2013 6:13PM

    Love, love, love! Way to go, you MUST feel fantastic.

Your question, "What if the reason we fail sometimes is because we expect to?" speaks loudly to me for multiple reasons. Now that someone has actually asked the question I must look deep within.

Ya You! Ya me for self reflection.

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FITFOODIE806 6/18/2013 7:42AM

    What an awesome blog! I love finding such inspiring new sparkfriends. And I love when we surprise ourselves. High five!

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HLTHYRNRMOM 6/17/2013 10:10PM

    Your ROCK and inspire so many, myself included! Some people are just miserable in life and project it on to others! YOU GO GIRL!

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LOOZINITNOW 6/17/2013 6:37PM

    This girl is on fire!!! emoticon

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MYWALK2FITNESS 6/17/2013 10:23AM

    Good for you for trying to see and explore that side....you are so brave!!!! Can't wait to hear more about your runs because I think you will now add this to your best friends list! :) I'm too an asthmatic and I fear to explore in certain activities....how do you deal with your asthma?

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 6/16/2013 7:29PM

    I SWEAR to you, I've been having the same conversation with people, and I love that you wrote this blog! You are so right, we can do so much more than we think we're capable of. WHY does it take someone else to point it out?!? You riding 60 miles, you can totally do a 5k... if your mind will let you do it. That's always been my biggest issue. Physically, like you, I know we can probably do anything really, but it's my head that takes over and says, "yeah, no you can't." Hollynn, I'm SOOO happy you did that 5k to prove to YOURSELF that you can do it. And PS, you ARE an athlete!
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CAMAEL100 6/16/2013 3:41PM

    I think the frightening thing would be to find out what we are really capable of but are not trying for fear of failure! Or being convinced we can't. I too am amazed that you can cycle 60 miles and yet didn't think you could run 3.1 miles. It just goes to show how much we miss out on because our heads tell us we couldn't!!



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MUMMY22BOYS 6/16/2013 12:18PM

    My mother has PF so I totally get that!! Way to go on conquering if!!

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GIANTOCR1 6/16/2013 8:18AM

    I hear things like this all the time from friends. I pride myself at being a strong rider but running to me is tough. I did the same thing you did a few years ago. Put on my shoes and went running. I could do it kept popping into my thoughts. I too wonder just how far one can push themselves. I will find that out this fall since I signed up for an ironman.
I will train with you all summer and we will push each other. I know that is what I need. You want to train with me?
Great job on the 5K....
Keep pushing yourself.
Marty

PS: seeing your smile and all that sweat. Now that is a good look...

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TINA5318 6/16/2013 2:34AM

    emoticon emoticon

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KATYDID412 6/16/2013 12:04AM

    Good for you! I think sometimes it takes true action for us to overcome our insecurities, and that's what you accomplished today. Great revelation about yourself!

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JAMIELOGICAL 6/15/2013 10:43PM

    Frankly I'm a little shocked that you thought you couldn't run 3 miles when you can bike 60 miles. It seems ridiculously obvious to me.

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MOBYCARP 6/15/2013 3:29PM

    I could believe that PF would keep you from running; but not your cardiovascular conditioning, if you can bike 60 miles! Foot hurts after 5 minutes, believable. Lungs on fire after 5 minutes, you're running too hard. Just slow down to something sustainable.

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RENZRYD 6/15/2013 1:55PM

    Yay Sweetie!!! You are doing better than me, I haven't been able to run non-stop for a while you crush my time! WAY TO GO! On that note I have not done any training after my last HM last month and tomorrow I am just going to put one foot in front of the other for my last HM of the season! We CAN do it!

-Renee emoticon

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ROCKMAN6797 6/15/2013 1:18PM

    Your only limitations Hollynn is you. I love this blog! I agree with your friend, you bike for long distances, a 3+ mile run (at ANY pace!) was and is within the realm of doable! Way to go!
BTW, congrats on continuing to lose pounds you are deep into onederland!!

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FITMARY 6/15/2013 10:10AM

    You are DEFINITELY an athlete! And great picture by the way!
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DALID414 6/15/2013 9:46AM

    emoticon emoticon
Bring us along as you discover what else you're capable of!

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JSTCHLIN 6/15/2013 9:38AM

    emoticon Awesome Blog! emoticon

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JEREMY723 6/15/2013 8:53AM

    Great job:)

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THE_SHAKESHAFT 6/15/2013 7:27AM

    AWESOME!!

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 6/15/2013 7:09AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ISLAMOM 6/15/2013 6:57AM

    Wonderful!! And very inspiring!!

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KONRAD695 6/15/2013 4:16AM

    Congrats on another victory!!

Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 11:26:00 PM

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KONRAD695 6/15/2013 3:29AM

    Well done!

Comment edited on: 6/18/2013 11:24:19 PM

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