June 9 2017
Fat Girl Running's Mirna Valerio explains why she—and everyone that runs—deserves to consider themselves "serious runners."
I think that each year, you should have a big, scary goal that takes you way out of your comfort zone. I’m talking a HUGE, in-your-face, seemingly impossible, gives you a lump in the throat and makes your heart race goal.
For some, it will be going the next distance, like signing up for and running a half marathon, full marathon or even an ultra. For others it might be trying something like a Tough Mudder or going to a CrossFit gym. Maybe it’s not fitness related. Perhaps you finally want to start writing that novel that you’ve had in your head forever. Maybe you want to sign up for a class about stuff you don’t know with people you don’t know. What if you decided to travel the world by yourself, sans job or plans?
Me? I have three huge, hulking, scary goals that are far beyond where I would call my comfort zone (and I’m a pretty adventurous person to start with)!
My first goal is to do my first 100-mile race this year. I’ve already started training even though I haven’t actually chosen a race. But I’ll keep training and a beautiful, tough, life-changing event will open its arms to me and choose me. In the meantime, I’ll just sit with being scared and anxious!
My next big, scary thing is the Trans Rockies Run in August. I’ll be running and hiking for about 120 miles across the Colorado Rockies this summer over six days. It is bound to be an EPIC experience, whose training and preparation is making me nervous (but mostly excited!).
My final frightening foray will be in the form of working towards participating in the World’s Toughest Mudder, a twenty four hour obstacle course event in November that is already giving me nightmares.
All of these things give me anxiety, but I love living in an uncomfortable mental space—especially when I know that by simply accepting all that discomfort has to offer, I will grow mentally and spiritually. My training will become creative and my mind and body will benefit from all of the new neurons created because of this new, terrifying territory I’m entering. I love it. I’m excited. It gives me something to work really hard towards. And even though I might not actually reach all of my big scary goals, I will benefit from the simple fact of having them and toiling away to that end!
What do you have in store for the year? What puts you right there in that zone of discomfort?