Even though I played sports in school, I struggled with running longer distances my entire life. Many friends encouraged me to run, telling me how much they enjoyed it. Despite their kind words, I still couldn’t run a mile. As an adult I gave up and resolved that I was not meant to be a runner.
And then one day I was talking to a friend. He happened to be a runner. I told him that I could not run and he mentioned casually that he was surprised. He thought that certain aspects of running such as tracking progress, goal setting, etc., suited my personality and that he thought I would enjoy it.
I laughed it off. But the idea wouldn’t go away. I started to see myself from his perspective. Maybe I did have it in me. Maybe I had approached it wrong all these years.
So I bought a treadmill and started a CouchTo5k program. Turns out I really like running! I’m not doing marathons, or even 5k’s yet, but I can’t describe the satisfaction of running a mile after 20 years of thinking that I never would.
What I learned from this:
- When people tell me that I should do something because they like it, I nod while I think of reasons why it won’t work for me.
- I like being successful. And I like even the possibility of being successful.
- Sometimes I need other people to open my eyes to my own potential.
That last point is the game-changer. In the chaos of life, sometimes we take our own skills, quirks, talents, for granted. By noticing a certain specific quality and suggesting that someone would be good at something because of it, you open the door for them to re-discover that about themselves. Sometimes just knowing that someone else thinks you can do something is enough to take the first step through the door.