Living in Fear of the Glorified Sandcastle

           One of the scariest parts about setting my sights on completing a full Ironman is the fear of not actually being able to complete the race.  In a perfect world, I’d be able to actually compete, and not just struggle across the finish line – but I’ll be satisfied with just being able to finish.  When I registered for the October 70.3 race, I spent a good 15 minutes trying to decide if I should add the (rather expensive) insurance policy that would protect my registration fee.  I’ve never seen the need to add the insurance before because I am usually very confident in myself and my abilities to accomplish whatever goal I set for myself. However, since I became sick last year I struggle with the never ending less of “what if” questions that revolve around the fear of getting sick and being stuck in the hospital again.

         Shortly after I became sick, I decided that working out was pointless because all it does is build up your glorified sandcastle.  I developed this view when I realized that no matter how hard I had worked to keep my body fit, strong, and overall healthy – it still failed me.  Why try so hard to stay in great shape; when, you really can’t control your overall health? I battled the negative, self-defeatist attitude for several months.  I even walked out of a spin class after only 10 minutes because “it was stupid” and “why try if I can just lose it again”? I spent the remainder of the class in the locker room in tears while I waited for my friend to finish the class.  I took a break from the gym and refused to run unless I thought I was being chased (or if the ice-cream truck was near, of course).

             I was right in the middle of feeling sorry for myself when a friend told me that a local racing company, Fs Series was looking for running ambassadors.  She told me, “Sara, with your story this past year, you’re a shoo-in.” Their advertisement said that they were looking for passionate runners, and were interested in the heart of the athlete, not their race times.  I decided to fill out the application because Fs Series races were always my favorite ones to run. Surprisingly to me, but not to the friend that told me to apply, I received an email that I was selected to their ambassador team.  Before the first meeting I was really nervous because I knew that I was going to be in the company of some amazing athletes; and in my current physical state – I was definitely not in the same class as the other ambassadors.  However, thanks to the inspirational and encouraging people on the team, I’ve decided that I’d rather risk watching my sandcastle fade away than sit on the sidelines for the rest of my life.

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