The Beautiful Trail of Imperfection

Stonny pathDeposit Photos

Yesterday, I completed my second trail race. It was fun. One thing I’ve noticed with trail races is that my normally slow pace becomes even slower because of the uneven ground the course covers. I finished the race toward the back of the pack.

The good news: I came in fifth in my age group among women
The not-so good news: There were only five women runners in my age group. 🙂

Years ago, my slow pace discouraged me so much that I chose to stop running for over a decade. It was a choice I’ve always regretted. It was a fear-induced choice. Yesterday, while doing some post race thinking, it dawned on me that I stopped running for the same reason I chose to stop writing for many years.

Both require me to stare my imperfections and limitations in the face and make the choice to keep moving forward anyway. Years ago, fear won. Fear convinced me to quit. Fear told me I wasn’t good enough.  Fear told me I didn’t “excel” at it…so why bother.

But today…

Today, I choose to run the races.
Today, I choose to write the words.

Because today…

I know that fear is a liar. I know that fear is a selfish little prick who only steals and never gives.

Writing and running, no matter how imperfectly I do both, have brought so much joy into my life, a joy that can only be discovered by running and writing my way through the not so perfect, over the steep hills of pain, across the rocky paths of uncertainty, down into the green valleys of peace, and onto the beautiful finish!

“In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first,
the middle of the pack, or last. You can say ‘I have finished.’ There is
a lot of satisfaction in that.” ~Unknown

“Writing is like breathing, it’s possible to learn to do it well, but the point is to do it no matter what.”  ~Julia Cameron

3 thoughts on “The Beautiful Trail of Imperfection

  1. Bill (cycelguy)

    Well said Eileen. I really liked that Unknown quote at the end. I can no longer cycle as fast nor as long as I used to. But when I am done there is a satisfaction in it. Oh yeah.

    Reply

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