1. Never Late Is Better
Before I get into this takeaway I must share it was super hard for me to get consistent sleep the night before the race. I was super excited and kept waking up anticipating my alarm clock to go off. I eventually got out of bed for good to the sound of intense rain. I texted my community leader Lisa and asked, “Rain or shine, we walking?!?!” She replied “Yes of coarse!” So I got dressed, ate my protein, and went off to meet up with the group at 6:30 am. At first this seemed a bit absurd to me because the event started at 8:30 am. Eventually however I saw the beauty in meeting the team 2 hours early. Not only was this my first 5K but it was also most of the groups first 5K. So, it benefited all of us to be together for a few hours before the race. We bonded in a way over the excitement and anxiety.
2. Life is easier with a team
Walking the 5K with a team made the whole process much easier. My entire life I was an athlete and as a result I was over competitive. Being with a team gave me a sense of belonging. I did not feel bad even though I was one of the last ones to finish the race. My team gave me the support and sense of belonging I needed to walk the 5K at my own pace.
3. Run your own race
Even though I started the walk with my team, that does not mean I ended at the same time as them. I stopped numerous times to take pictures, talk to people, and tie my shoes. Oh and I am also just a slow walker. Anyways all of this caused me to be the last in my group to finish. I was even separated from my team for the final 1/3 of the walk. In the past this would have bothered me. Now that I know we all live life at our own pace, I also know there is no point comparing myself to other people.
4. Community encouragement matters
During the actual 5K there were tons of volunteers. It seemed that they only had two main jobs though. To keep us safe and to encourage us. While the safety volunteers were expected, I did not expect so much encouragement from them. It seemed like every 20 steps I took there was a volunteer encouraging me with positive affirmations like, “You got this!” or “It’s almost over. Keep going!” These strangers’ kind words made walking much easier. I know it is all psychological and that makes it even more important.
5. Finishing is the most important
I was among the last few to finish the race. In the past if I saw I was “losing” at something, then I would quit. This time however I did not think in terms of winning and losing. I was not comparing my self to all the athletes running the race. I gave no value to how long it took me to finish the 5k. However I gave immense value to making sure me and my team did cross the finish line. Even if we were last, hearing our names as we crossed the finish line was one of the best feeling I ever experienced. Share in our Losing With Lisa Facebook community if you want to walk the next 5K with us. We will make sure you get all the details and have all the support you need.