CONFIDENCE….this was the subject of my coaching class last night. At the end of the class my teacher, Michael, gave us a challenge to do, he said: “ Between today and next weeks class take a risk! Do something that you’ve wanted to do but that for some reasons you haven’t done yet.”
Before I tell you what my risk is let me talk about confidence. I really liked the emphasis in this module, on needing to make choices and then taking the first step towards our dreams. Too often I waver and hold back, wanting to feel fully confident before I act, instead of realizing that full confidence will come from taking risks, making mistakes, moving forward with small steps towards my vision. I need to have the courage to take action even without confidence, knowing that by acting I will develop and grow into my full confidence.
Confidence to me now is being open and, willing to take on new challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone, regardless of how uncomfortable it may seem.
Here is my story in few words: I am native of Italy and I’ve always been athletic and love working out, so being fit has always just been a way of life for me. I believe that being fit is key to overall health. I feel physical fitness is the key to one’s mind, body and soul, being into fitness makes you realize how strong of a person you are physically and mentally. The discipline you must have in order to succeed and see results is so self rewarding.
While in Italy, I was regional champion in aerobics, which led me and my team to be nationally ranked. Since then, I’ve worked with different types of fitness including weigh training, aerobics and kickboxing.
However, prior to March 2010 I had never run regularly, so I never considered myself to be a runner. This is until one day I decided I needed a change in my life, I swore that some day I’d run a marathon. Right away I signed up to run a half marathon and started running, I absolutely fall in love with it.
Running simply feels natural – running is something that we as humans are supposed to do. It was something I looked forward to, a comforting moment of solitude fueled by endorphins that allowed me to hit the reset button on my day. After that I signed up for my first marathon and trained through the summer.
Marathon training requires a lot of commitment and dedication; It’s not about instant gratification, it’s about endurance, it’s not about the thrill, it’s about passion. To run a marathon, you need to not only commit to the sport, you need to commit to yourself. I enjoyed every single day of my training it was journey trough self discovery. My goal was to complete a marathon and to qualify for the oldest and most famous marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon. It was the most exhilarating challenge I’d ever completed in my entire life, running a marathon takes heart and an understanding of the human body more than I had ever experienced.
October 3rd, 2010 I ran my first marathon, The Maine Marathon, in 3:31:08 ending up placing 2nd in my age group and qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It was one of the best days of my life, second only to the day I married Dustin. I couldn’t have gone through this journey and it wouldn’t have been the same without the incredible support and encouragement of my amazing, loving, thoughtful, caring, helpful, outgoing, patient, laid back, funny husband and best friend, Dustin, who besides finding the best gummy bears for my long runs rubbed my feet too.
I started my Boston Marathon training on January 1st, 2011. The most challenging thing thus far is that it’s been a very cold, snowy, icy, winter to train in! So far we’ve had over 70 inches of snowfall this winter in Boston, it was the 3rd snowiest January in Boston’s history! Since I started my training 4 weeks ago I began to think about the inspiration surrounding me as a runner. I started to think about documenting my journey writing daily blogs in a diary, for myself, but also for others to help them understand the work that goes into training, and maybe help them discover things or people that can inspire you, runners or not.
The challenge here is that I do not consider myself a good writer, the main reason is that I don’t think in sentences but in vibrant images. Therefore, this is one of the things I lack confidence in. This morning when I went for my snowy 10 mile training run the whole time I was thinking about my training, the class I had the night before, about confidence and wondering what risk I should take? I was having so much fun running in the snow that I didn’t realize I was 2 miles away from home and then a light bulb went on directly above my head!
I am very confident about running and not so much about writing; this is the perfect moment to give life to my training blog. In life, that equation can translate to either being good at something (Running) while enjoying it, or being not so good at something (writing) but enjoying the learning experience anyway, either way we will exude internal confidence. Right there I felt confident and I made the decision without having doubts or fears. I am going to write a blog I yelled out loud!! I was running so energized and full of joy that even a guy out shoveling snow yelled out “Where do you find the energy to run in this?” From “La Passione” my passionate Italian side. I’m at a place in my life where I am trying to figure out how to utilize my passion to the fullest extent.
Passion brings purpose to ones life. Passion gives you a voice.
The passion I have for running and the determination will give me the opportunity to learn to be a better writer by just starting to write. I am not saying that I am not scared anymore, I am still terrified by writing but I know I am going to get through this and it’s going to be okay by focusing on progress, not perfection
So lace up those shoes…..and enjoy the journey with me….
“Passion, it lies in all of us, sleeping… waiting… and though unwanted… unbidden… it will stir… open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us… guides us… passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments. The joy of love… the clarity of hatred… and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion maybe we’d know some kind of peace… but we would be hollow… Empty rooms shuttered and dank. Without passion we’d be truly dead.” – Joss Whedon”Action is a great restorer of confidence. Any action is better than none.” ~ Norman Vincent Beale