Breathe. In. Out. Breathe. In…Out. ..Just breathe. Sometimes I must consciously live moment by moment with this dialogue playing in my mind. When stress is high and it’s hard to manage, I resort to mindfully engaging in the rhythmic exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
Inhale 1-2, exhale 1-2. Breathe.
Focusing on this life-giving transaction has always calmed whatever storms rage on in my soul.
Last week my inner storms were ignited by the possibility of outcomes from the hypothetical question of “What if–” During my run last Monday a sharp pain in my knee stopped me mid-stride. As I hobbled home my attention was fixed on maintaining an even chest rise-and-fall movement, attempting to distract myself from the achy pain shooting around my kneecap and the overwhelming stream of alarming thoughts muddling my brain.
In one instant it appeared as though my world had come crumbling down. My slowly-building confidence in my marathon training and physical abilities were crushed as my mind became riddled with thoughts of doubt, anxiety, fear, catastrophixing.
I hate being injured.
I don’t think I have ever met anyone who enjoys the experience, nor the painfully slow process of healing and regaining. My past injuries have built this potentially debilitating fear of getting injured in my spirit. Last year this anxiety almost prevented me from signing up from the marathon. While I have been striving to conquer this fear, I got to a point early last week where I began questioning my knee pain as a sign I should quit, questioning my ability to complete 26.2 miles, questioning my ability to raise $10,000.
Last week however, 3 individuals received access to clean water and 7 individuals separately contacted me with words of encouragement and perseverance. This marathon is so much more than MY knees, MY marathon, MY momentary pain. This marathon is NOT about MY finish line. This marathon is about 200 OTHERS and THEIR water lines. I am forever grateful for the prayers, inspiring words and generosity of others who helped me regain this perspective.
Training and fundraising is growing me as an individual on physical, mental and spiritual levels. I am being stretched outside of the comfort zone of preoccupation with MY life, MY needs, My desires and realizing to a greater extent the needs of OTHERS. Because regardless of WHEN or HOW I cross that finish line–millions all over the world are struggling to MAKE IT to the water line. So it’s time to stop being scared of a little pain, stop worrying about my prideful desire to beat all the guys I train with, and start concerning myself more with the 200 individuals I have set out to bring clean water to. Currently I am at 15% of my goal. 12 weeks left. 170 lives still in need. This week my goal is to bring 20 more individuals water. $1,000. Will you consider donating??