I am alive. I am fit. I am healthy. I am in a good state of mind. I am 30.
I have love. I have faith. I have a purpose. I am 30.
To make this birthday memorable – I ran 100 KM. I ran for 13 hours, from sunrise to sunset. A celebration of youth. A celebration of health.
I set a goal that scared me. Anxiety was holding me by my arms. It felt like a numbness from my fingers up to the elbows.
Because I can. Because I never did it before. To change the trajectory of my life, whatever it takes. I want to change. I want to become someone different. Someone I could enjoy living with. I want to move into a new world.
The first 50 km were relatively easy. Minor pains and indigestion. Everything beyond that – was uncharted territory for me. The pain grew. Pain killers did not make a difference. I was hurting.
The most challenging part of the run was the hill. Elevation gain of 1,200 m (3,937 ft) in 10 km. It took me three hours to climb that hill. And that’s after having run 60 km. The last hour of the climb went with no food or water. It was very challenging.
Meeting my friend at the top gave me an extra strength to continue. Cailan brought water and gels. Hallelujah. I came back to life.
I was about 30 km away from the finish when I separated from my friend and went down the trail. The plan was for him to drive downhill and ride his bike back up to meet me in about an hour. It didn’t go as planned and we met only 4 hours later. I got lost in the woods.
At the 90 km mark, I realized that taking the trail was a mistake. It led me nowhere. My phone was almost dead with about 5% battery left. It was getting dark and cold. I had left about two sips of water and two gels.
I attempted to call my friend but couldn’t reach him – no service on his end. I texted him my GPS coordinates and went off the trail, looking for a road. I was very tired. My lips dried out. No water. I was preparing to spend the night in the woods.
A long story short I found my way out. I was very happy to step back on the pavement. I made it! I was upbeat and cheerful. I was singing songs and laughing. What a day it was!
Piece by piece I build self-respect. I ran 100 km from Vernon to Penticton. I got lost in the forest and found my way out. I did many hard things in life, which thought me this: I CAN DO ANYTHING THAT I PUT MY MIND TO. I now truly believe that. Self-confidence is acquired and it is not something that you can be born with. I’ve built mine by doing the things that scared me. Repeatedly overcoming hard things build self-esteem and shows you that you are capable of more than you previously thought.
I continue setting goals for myself. I attempt difficult tasks. I am not often successful, but it doesn’t matter. I have balls to try. I burn out and fail. I cry and have depressive episodes. But I always come back smiling. That’s who I am.
I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do and what not to do. I don’t need anyone to decide for me which goals are too risky. I don’t need anyone to hold my hand and tell me that everything’s going to be alright. I overcame the illusion that there is someone who can make my life better. I know in my bones that no amount of money or medals will improve the quality of my existence. I can’t control anything. All I can do is my best. Things will happen, just the way they always do.
I have faith that makes me stronger. I am building someone who can do incredible things. With God’s help, I can be anyone and I can do anything. There is a plan for me and everyone else. All I am asking for is a chance. The opportunity. Everyone deserves at least one chance to become great. Everything I do now is a preparation for the opportunity ahead. It is bigger than me. And when the opportunity reveals itself – I will be ready. I will be at the peak of my capabilities. I will execute my part perfectly.