Just Show Up… and Show Out

This blog post is brought to you by November Project Atlanta tribe member Allison Lerer… she’s a hype lady. Always there to help out a tribe member in need, checking in with regular texts if she knows you’ve had a rough week, cheering you on at a race. Here she is!

So when I was asked to write a blog post for November Project Atlanta, it was pretty nerve-racking for me as I am not much for writing and blogging (this is my first blog). However, after my race yesterday I was inspired on a different level that I wanted to share with whoever reads this.

When I joined NP, I was very nervous to “just show up” to something alone and not know anyone else doing it. Today I can tell you I’m so glad I did. In the last year I have switched jobs and basically changed my lifestyle to where I can actually commit to a weekly schedule (for the most part) and show up on a consist basis. Before, I could only go to a few kickball games and just run/spin on my own time when work allowed. I never felt like I could be a part of a group. As part of NP, I was able to physically get in shape and show up regularly.

However, when I got injured in March I didn’t think I would ever get back to the shape I was in and be able to do “all the things.” People would say, “You’ll get better and be back in no time.” I just wanted to punch them in the face and yell and scream. Eventually, I got out of my depression and decided it was okay to take an active role in the community and just show up and encourage others to do so. It was okay not to run 50 miles a week or do two workouts a day, but just have fun and think of the bigger picture. Making a difference in the community, whether it was volunteering with Back on My Feet (thanks Eli!), being an Atlanta Track Club ambassador, working at Big Peach Running Co, motivate others to have an active lifestyle, etc. has meant the world to me and lifted my spirits so high. I know I was lucky to have people there for me when I needed it most and glad I can return the favor.

So let’s fast forward to yesterday… now that I got all the sappy stuff out of the way. Going into the Big Peach Sizzler 5k, I made a goal for myself to break 20 minutes, which if you had told me in high school, I would say you were on crack (I could barely run a 23 minute 5k). Anyways I woke up yesterday feeling hurt and a little run down. I had worked all weekend, run around a little too much, helped my sister move, and clearly not gotten enough sleep (insert more excuses). I have a tendency to want to do everything and not say no (see above when wanting to do “all the things”). However, I still went to the race and was so glad I showed up. I was immediately greeted by other November Project, Atlanta Track Club, Big Peach, Back on my Feet, other Atlanta Running community friends which made me feel that breaking 20 minutes wasn’t the end of the world and to think bigger picture.

When the gun went off to start the race, I just found my stride and tried to stay close to the front of the pack. Before the race, I scouted the competition (I know, I know… a hard habit to break) and noticed a girl in the typical “elite gear” (sports bra and spandex) warming up. I once again told myself it was okay to be second to her (I have finished 2nd about a million times no joke in races), not to break 20 minutes, etc. (think bigger picture). However I don’t know what came over me, but by the end of mile 1, I felt amazing. My splits were on point (my first time having a watch for this race), and I knew the course like the back of my hand. It clicked in my head that I could do this, that I could pass this girl in front of me and crush my goals. This was the first time in my life I actually believed in myself during a race. Strange to put into words but I guess always being a bridesmaid in races, runner-up to a job, never feeling good enough, kept me from the proper headspace.

Once I made the final turn toward the finish, I just flew and tuned everything else out. I took just showing up to a whole new level by believing I could show up and show out. It now gives me the confidence to be uncomfortable, to not second guess myself and to believe in myself. So cliché but so true. I know for a fact if I didn’t have other people believing in me and helping me through my struggles, I wouldn’t be able to do it myself. If I can, anyone can. If you don’t think you can, talk to me and I’ll make sure you do!

Insert deep breath.

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