Forrest Gump is one of my all time favorite movies. **If there is a slightest chance that you haven’t watched it already, stop right here… You have to watch it! Once, you’ve done it, come back and finish reading this post. Yes, it’s THAT good!**
A quick recap…
As a young boy, Forrest had to wear leg braces. There were many kids who bullied him because of that. One day, while trying to escape from them, boy’s friend Jenny called out to him ‘Run, Forrest. Run!’ Then unexplainable happened, the boy’s leg braces broke off and he realized that he could run and he could run very fast. It was a pivotal moment in Forrest’s life. Why? Because he never stopped running ever since!
When I think about it, I can relate to his story very much. Wait… NO!!! Why would you think that? My IQ is definitely over 75 and neither am I bullied. What I am referring to is his RUNNING story.
Since I was little, I NEVER liked or enjoyed running. I would always make sure to be the first one among my peers to finish any sort of running test at school, but it was only because I’m a competitive person. At the end of a run (1 km max!), I would feel like I was about to die and I hated that feeling. Naturally, as of that moment, I told myself that I was not capable of running longer distances, it was not for me, and I would never run unless I had to. And it stayed that way for many many years… Until this summer, that is!
Back to the story… Forrest’s leg braces and bullies in the movie could be also interpreted like our own fears/insecurities/imaginary limits and negative people who surround us. They persistently hold us back from moving forward. All it took for Forrest to break off his braces was having Jenny to believe that he could run. So it is with our fears, all it takes is to believe in ourselves or having someone tell you that you can do it.
In retrospect, it’s crazy how having imaginary limits can alter our lives! Thinking that you can’t, makes you stop trying, and once you stop trying, there is no progress! How many opportunities are lost!!!
The turning point in my life was when my then-fiancé-now-husband completed his first 13+ km Spartan Race last June. Seeing him covered in mud and pushing his limits really inspired me (Okay, he looked super hot too! Did I really just say it? *blush*). Right that moment I knew that I wanted to be like him.
When I got home, I googled how to start running longer distances, and I set myself a goal that I would run 5 km (3.1 miles) at least twice a week. **Believe me, it is HUGE for someone who could barely last 10-15 minutes on a treadmill!!!** I also signed up for the 5km CIBC Run for the Cure not to give myself a chance to change my mind.
Having a goal made it easier for me to stick to the plan. But let me tell you, it was super hard to push through imaginary limits that I had built so long ago: Some days I felt like I couldn’t do this any more and wanted to give up. But then, I thought about the idea behind the CIBC Run for the Cure, I thought about all women who have courage and strength to battle breast cancer every day… and it gave me courage and strength.
I completed my first ever 5km race on October 6. My time was 28 minutes and 28 seconds, but to be honest, it didn’t really matter. All I knew is that I battled my fear and I COULD run. The feeling was liberating! It led me to a decision to register for the Spartan Trifecta which includes completing a 5+, 13+ and 20+ km obstacle races within a year.
Nowadays, I run twice a week including a longer 10km run on weekends. It is still very challenging, but now I know that I CAN do and I WILL succeed!
Unfortunately, we all build imaginary walls around us. Therefore, my message to you today is: Break those walls, stay away from negativity; if there is desire, there is a will. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to!
What are YOUR imaginary walls? What is YOUR way to overcoming them? Please share, I would love to hear from you!