Well if it hasn't hit you yet, the 2015 cross-country season is officially under way. For me, this past Saturday would be the last first time I would put on my Nona cross-country uniform. There is always something special about putting on your uniform. It represents all things running. From the pre-race anxiousness, to the two-mile hurt, to the exhausted push to the finish. Our uniform is with us through it all.
In my past seven years of running, I have always been excited to put on my uniform. But as I put on my uniform this past Saturday, I was immediately consumed with fear. Fear of hurting, fear of absolute mental and physical pain.
You know in the movies where the protagonist gets flashbacks, and they see all of the pain that happened to them prior to that scene? In that moment, you could say that was precisely how I felt.
As I placed the Nona jersey on, it was like I flashbacked to all the pain that I had felt last year -- every stride, every tear, every disappointment.
My team and I arrived at Lake Minneola to compete in their invitational. As I was warming up, I felt some symptoms that immediately set off my "fear alarm." Here I am, scared to compete and experiencing what I had feared to experience in the first place.
In this moment of fear, I started to make little excuses in my head like, "I'll just stick with one girl the whole way and see how it goes," and "I'm not gonna push it because I don't want to get hurt."
Defining the Uniform
As my varsity girls and I set foot on the line, in that moment, I made the decision to trash all my fear-filled thoughts and to just give it my all.
I ended up being able to keep my pace and make my way to first place, feeling like I was smiling every step of the way. I crossed the line at 20:54, about a minute and a half faster than last week!
When I put my uniform on this morning, I had two choices: let the uniform define me or I could define the uniform.
Facing Down Our Fears
In our lives we have things that remind us of our past, of our struggles. These things scare us, make us timid, limit our capabilities. These "things" could be anything; from different people in our lives, to past decisions, to something as simple as a poster on your bedroom wall. For me, my reminder is my cross-country uniform with fear laced into its seams.
Before I started my race, I had made the decision to face my fear -- to define the uniform. Each step I took, I could feel the fear being unraveled from the seams of my Lake Nona jersey. And as the fear began to unravel, my smile began to grow and dazzle. I crossed the line pain-free and a smile from ear to ear, not because I had won or beaten my time, but because I had confronted and beaten my fear.
I challenge you this season, whether it is running-related or not, to unravel the fear that has been woven into your "uniform." It is then, and only then, that you will experience such a joy that will bring the brightest smile to your face.
Join me this season in defeating our fears, whatever they may be, so that smiles will become an epidemic not only on the XC course but in our lives as well.
As always, run fast, stay strong, keep the faith and remember you are awesome! - Adair
P.S: Thank you too all the competitors, parents, coaches, and officials at the Lake Minneola meet this weekend for making my last first XC meet one to remember!