A few weeks ago, I spent a weekend with some friends in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. My friends were all planning to run the Steamboat Half Marathon, and I'd tentatively committed to running the 10K before the trip. I'm a new-ish runner, and still working on my form (and being able to breathe), so I had a whole host of excuses as to why I might not even be ready to do the 10K, and therefore was not going to commit until the morning of the race.
Race weekend rolled around, and I was feeling semi-confident in my ability. And then one of the guys got injured, and dropped out of the half marathon. And a tiny little crazy thought worked its way into my brain as we drove out to Steamboat. What if I took his place? The course was somewhat downhill (except for that killer uphill on mile 9), and if nothing else, I could catch a ride the rest of the way down if I couldn't make it any longer. And then someone actually suggested I take the place, which somewhat validated the idea in my head. Without allowing myself to think about it too much (me? over think something?) I jumped in.
I think I slept for a total of about 30 minutes the night before, so when the alarm went off at 5:20am, I was wide awake, and just slightly nervous that I was out of my mind. Faking sickness or injury crossed my mind more than once. We got dropped off at the bus stop at six, and had to wait for a bus until after seven, which didn't help the situation. I was crafting excuses in my head the entire time. The buses finally came and we were off... no turning back now!
I kept up with the men for less than half a mile, and settled into my own perfect pace. And I loved every minute of it. I met some nice people as I ran/walked/hobbled my way through and took in the beautiful scenery. I had plenty of time to think about what I was doing, how it was slightly random, and how it translates to other areas of my life, and our work with the fraternal community.
How many times do we put off doing something because we just are not sure, or because we don't feel ready, or we haven't had the right amount of training, or the right preparation? How many times have we avoided a difficult conversation with a student, or avoided closing a chapter because we didn't feel ready? How many times have we let something happen because we were not prepared to challenge the situation or the process?
What could we accomplish in our world if we stopped over-thinking and started doing? What if we took more chances and took more risks? What if we were willing to put ourselves out there a bit more, so to speak? If we were not afraid of failure? How would the fraternal movement be different? What if we were not scared of the potential pitfalls or roadblocks, and jumped into something with two feet? What would be different? What other areas of life might this apply to for you?
I definitely wasn't the fastest person on the road, and at times, was in a lot of pain. But I learned a little bit about myself and my limits that day, and I'll be back on the half-marathon trail again sometime in the future. If nothing else, it was great time to think while absorbing the beautiful scenery and plan my next crazy adventure. How have you stepped outside of your comfort zone lately?