This article was originally published on Unwritten.
“I will become a runner.”
I whisper the phrase to myself as I lace up my shoes, as I put on my headphones, and as I get bored at about half a mile through.
I try. And fail. And try again to be a runner. See, running and I have a love-hate relationship. I tell myself I’m going to do it. I buy the clothes I need, tie my shoes, and make my playlist. But no matter how hard I try, I fail. The runner’s high never comes for me and I get bored.
Even though I quite often fail, I don’t stop trying. It’s not so I can become “that runner girl” that you see on the street all the time or to blow up your news feed with my fitness posts. Because, honestly, my close friends and family don’t even know that I’ve been running again. It’s because it’s something I want to prove to myself. I find that no matter how many times I fail, I crave it even more.
I want to know I can. I want to pin that 5k, 10k, 15k sticker in my journal and know that I did it. For me, failing is just a part of my journey. Not the end.
This is how a lot of things in my life work. I try not to think of it as failing, but as putting myself out there and trying. Glass half full, you know. I love to show myself that there’s more that I can do besides the things that so obviously give me joy. Reading and writing are a part of who I am, but I want to know what else I’m made of. That I can take something on and learn to love it. Make it a part of me. But most of the time I fail. And. That’s. Okay!
My family always told me that I wasn’t competitive enough. Which is true, in their defense. It’s because I truly love to fail just as much as I love succeeding. I feel like I learn even more about myself when I’m down than when I’m up. Am I saying that I want to do nothing but fail at things my entire life? No. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not going to kick myself when I’m down. I’m going to try harder. My failures make me who I am just as much as my successes do.
So next time you try and fail at something, don’t be hard on yourself. Look at what it taught you, get back up, and try again. And when you feel down, just know that I’m still a terrible runner.