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Conquering Fears...

Saturday, February 26, 2011

When I first started my Spark journey, my intro on my Spark Page stated that I wasn't usually one to share much about myself. Considering we've discussed my backfield being in motion (or not, as the case may be!) I'd say I've gotten beyond that.

I like to say that I'm shy by nature. I'm also lacking in self-confidence. I'm uncomfortable in new situations. I'm awkward when meeting new people. I get tongue tied and blather on inanely. I built a wall around myself with my fat and kept the word away. Without being conscious of it, I had built a safe cocoon.

Now, it feels like a straight jacket, and I want out.

I overcame a fear this morning, and it resulted in something that still has me jazzed.

I blogged not long ago about being lonely and wondering if I'd ever find someone to run with. Karen42Boys pointed out, astutely, that if I really want someone to run with, I'm going to have to go out and find them.

What? You mean a running partner isn't going to come to my house and stand next to me, running in place, in my basement, while I'm on the treadmill? Pfft, what's the point then??

Not long after reading Karen's brilliant comment (why hadn't that occurred to me before, I can't say) I read in a newsletter that the Galloway training group would be having three free runs, the first being this Saturday at the Foot Traffic Race Event Expo.

What? A running group comprised of people who use the run/walk/run method in races, from 5Ks to Marathons? Dude, I'm SO totally there!

Only, it was 18 degrees this morning, and not likely to warm up above 35 before 9:30 a.m. I've never run in that kind of cold. 32-35 has been the coldest so far. I have layers. I have the right clothing. I have the right shoes.

I also have fears of putting myself out there in a brand new situation with people I don't know. What if no one talks to me? What if I get left behind? What if I'm too slow? What if they tell me I can't go back? What if they tell me I should stick to walking? What if, what if, WHAT IF????

What if I don't go? I'll regret it.
What if I don't go, and don't find out when the next free runs are? I'll regret it.
What if I don't go, stick to running by myself, and lose my Spark, my need to conquer the fat and fear and doubt? I'll regret it.

I do NOT regret it. I went.

I went, and there were a TON of people in the little store, in the tent outside, milling in and out, dressed in running gear, street clothes, all manner of people. Some people were just getting back from a run. No one noticed me, which was a good thing. There was no pointing and snickering behind hands (as if, I really need to get a grip, don't I?) One gentleman, manning a table in the outside tent, spoke and smiled, asking how I was holding up in the cold. A simple kindness that meant a lot.

So I milled around inside, eavesdropping (I can't speak to someone I don't know first, let's not push the boundaries of sanity here!) and heard people talking about run/walk/run, and stalked them after that, until they moved outside.

I followed the group, and there were about 20 people or so. They explained the route, the interval of 1 min run/1 min walk, and we set off. I put myself at the back of the pack, as per usual, and ran behind a pair of young ladies. The gap between us and the main group grew, until I was dogging the girls' heels a bit too much and managed to weave my way past. I was on my own then, between the main pack and the slow pack. There was a coach at the front of the run, and another coach at the back of the run, so no one would get left behind.

I set my timer, and ran my intervals, and noticed a lady in the back of the front pack drop back behind and slow down. I caught up with her, and we started talking and walking and running together.

It was Katherine, THE Kathy from the Hood to Coast movie. Dude, I got to run/walk/run with her! Seriously, this amazing woman who has run marathons and Hood to Coast and died at Myst and was revived and survived and kept on going after her recovery - this is the woman I met and talked with and laughed with and RAN with.

The route was 2.2 miles. I mapped it on my Fitness tracker. Today is supposed to be my 5 mile run day. I would not trade a solitary continuous 5 mile run for that amazing 2.2 mile group run and another 2.8 mile run later today. Not for anything.

The next Galloway run is next Saturday, meeting up at OMSI. I think it'll be warmer then LOL I hope. Doesn't matter though. Nothing short of a medical emergency will keep me away. I'm there. I'm SO there it's ridiculous.

What was I so scared of? Right now, I couldn't tell you. I've found my running family - yes, Kathy and I were the last runners to make it back to Foot Traffic. That's ok - we agreed we'll run together next week, and I can't wait.

***Edited to add***
For those of you not familiar with Hood to Coast and my love-bordering-on-obsession with the event and movie, here's a link to the movie's trailer.
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  • no profile photo CD8072637
    Oh Candy, I just love it when that kind of stuff happens! Obviously there was a purpose in you meeting THE Kathy. If that's not inspirational and a sign that you did the right thing, honey, I don't know what is!!! Yeah, you're not gonna convince any of your Spark friends that you're shy! As others have said, it's funny how so many of us can be much more outgoing in the virtual world. I'm thrilled for you that you've found a running community...who knows where this might lead??? At the very least, the weather should be warming up as the months progress.

    Totally different note: I've finally figured out what I want to send you to wear when you are doing your races, but I have to make it first. Don't worry, it won't burden or interfere with your runs in any way. And I've got something else I want to make for you as well, but that's going to have to wait until we move and I unpack my craft stuff. I don't dare deal with my craft stuff right now, and I'm hoping we're going to be packing up in the next few weeks. No jobs for us just yet, but Mark has a lead, so we're hopeful. Thanks for sharing this amazing experience along your journey. You totally deserve it!!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Christine
    3800 days ago
    Wow: What a great story. And it's YOUR story. Pretty cool. I'm glad you found the nerve to try something new. It's hard putting yourself in those kind of situations. That's so cool that you did it. Runners tend to be really cool people. I've belonged to several running groups in the past and there always seems to be a sense of camaraderie even with total strangers.

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    3800 days ago
    I'm so proud of you Candy. I'm so glad you went. I'm going to search for something like that in my area. Loved the trailer. I wonder if it will come out on DVD.
    3801 days ago
    emoticon my friend. That is so cool. I'm so excited that you've found a running partner. Keep it up. I have no doubt that you'll be running in the Hood To Coast. WOOHOO! emoticon
    3801 days ago
    That is so cool that you found a running partner, AND that it's someone as wonderful as Kathy!
    3801 days ago
    OMG Candy ~ You have a way about you, that really gives me true inspiration! I totally, "TOTALLY" know how it feels to be shy and lacking self confidence. I too have seen free running groups at "The Running Room" and have so many times have told myself I should try that, but like you the "what ifs" completely take over me! From "what if I can't keep up?" to "what if I wipe out and feel like a comeplete fool?".... like you - they are non stop! Even right now when I think of it, it makes me very nervous and really quite sad! But seeing you make this big step and how well it went, gives me the push and want more than ever to step out of my cocoon (which really is more of a staright jacket). It's scary but you've proven that I can do it too!
    I am soooooo HAPPY for YOU!!!! Whhooooohooooo!
    Thank You ~ Thank You ~ THANK YOU!
    (oh....and I still am dying to see the movie too..... I keep checking to see if I can find anywhere in Canada that it is playing!
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    3801 days ago
    I never would have guessed you to be shy. I'm so glad you decided to go to the run and build your self confidence! And meet Kathy (her son and mine were on the same little league team years ago).
    3802 days ago
  • GAYLEP67
    Oh Candy! I can SO relate to the shyness (although it's funny that none of us are so shy sounding in the virtual world, are we?). I go through some serious anxiety anytime I'm in a new setting or somewhere where there's no one that I know (aka no safety net for me). I am so proud of you for pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and ensuring you had no regrets. And look at the reward you received! It was thrilling to read about you meeting Kathy and I was sitting here cheering for you as I read your blog. You continue to be a motivator and an inspiration to me and so many others every day.
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    emoticon & emoticon

    3802 days ago
    Awesome, Candy! So proud of you-sounds like fun!
    Wish you lived closer, I can only " virtually" run with you and it's not the same :)
    3803 days ago
    3803 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your remarkable experience! This was quite inspirational!


    Chris emoticon
    3803 days ago
    Candy, I am so very proud of you. I can imagine you showing up with all those what ifs doing somersaults in both your mind and your belly. Yet you pushed beyond your comfort zone and were so wonderfully rewarded. You really seem to be finding a new exciting person within your own skin. This woman is so filled with a new zest for a healthy and vigorous life. She is one amazing woman!!!
    3803 days ago
    So - I'd never heard of that movie. I clicked on your link and watched the video of Kathy and her team.... WOW! What an inspiration - and how remarkable that today - of all days - you went! Was she surprised you knew her? Congrats on your perseverance! emoticon
    3803 days ago
    Gotta tell you...I started reading your blog and you were so describing me in your first two paragraphs! I'm very proud of you for overcoming your fear, for putting yourself out there, and finding a fit. I can tell that it has brought you great joy and a sense of accomplishment and you're going to really thrive with this group! If you would have let those fears overcome you, then you wouldn't have found that joy. GREAT JOB!!!
    3803 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7466362
    OMGosh... para. 2 and the "what if's" are totally me! You voiced my mind, girl! I downloaded the c25k program today. I am slowly headed in the right direction (as in out the door, down the street, running etc)... scared. But you give me courage (and I'm not just saying that... I am afraid to fail at this, injury, whatever). Good for you, putting yourself out there.

    3803 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6896537
    OMG you made me cry!!!

    I am so frickin' proud of you!! I know I put myself "out there" alot here on SP but I really am very introverted and shy as well so I know of what you speak. And I know just how much courage it took (just against the cold itself) for you to get out there this morning.

    Then to get to run with someone like Kathy!! I am so jumping up and down for joy for you right down darlin!!

    There are not enough emoticons for me to put on here to tell you how proud I am of you!! YOU are an inspiration and I'm so dang proud of you I could just bust!!!

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    3803 days ago
    Oh, candy! What a spectacular post! You faced your feelings and fears head on, and then you had a life changing adventure! I am just tickled I got to have a place in the story! I love how our journeys overlap.
    3803 days ago
    Aah, the wonders one encounters when stepping outside their comfort zone. When opportunity knocks Candy answers. emoticon

    FYI: I miss the blogs like your backfield dosy! You are one of the reasons I kept coming back to spark. Thank GOD because now I loss 30lbs and only 15lbs or so to go!! Thank you my friend.

    3803 days ago
    Awesome! Enjoy your run next week. (I was too much of a cold wimp to go out today).

    So instead I went to the Saturday morning studio cycling class today at my gym and ran into a woman I've known from class there who is also in software...but since she's been busy and I've been normally running on Saturdays, I hadn't seen her in months. But we talked after class....and next Saturday I'm going to go to that cycling class and we're going to run the loop from the Riverplace athletic club to the Broadway bridge and back after class. It will be fun to run with I'm making next Saturday my cycling + running day.

    It is nice to make connections with inspiring people. So here's to running with others once in a while....and enjoying this spark journey.

    3803 days ago
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