When this all began, I blissfully turned a blind eye to what I would see out there. Fearing that the negative would stop me from attempting this or worse stopping me before the run was completed. What I failed to realize was that it wasn’t the outside world that I should be most afraid of, it was actually what was inside of me that I feared the most. The lowest of low points took me to a depth that I feared might exist. Rock bottom of my emotion, motivation and inspiration looks like an empty parking lot of an industrial building on a wet, slushy snowy night along Bailey Avenue.
By the end of my second run of the day, a heavy wet snow had started to coat the roads and myself. Jumping in the car damp and wet would fog the windows and make everything wet during my drive to the third run’s starting point. At this point of the challenge, I was down to doing multiple short runs a day because that’s all that was left. This made cooling down and warming up each time a problem. Now, throw in some dampness then some cold and you get one unmotivated Jim.
The key I learned is to “just go” before you start to overthink the situation. As soon as the brain starts working then you know you’re in trouble. “Just going” worked just until the point right before I parked my car on Bailey Ave. As soon as the car was in park, the sense of doubt, indecisiveness, worry and anxiety started to fill my head. I swear all my life I ran or hid from these types of situations. I could’ve gone home, ate dinner and relaxed like everyone else was doing on a Sunday night. But I knew time was fleeting and this was the perfect weather to run this neighborhood. Through out my life, I’ve always come up with good excuses that would allow me to back out of things when they got tough. This time I was in so deep with no back way out, so the pressure was really getting to me.
I remember going back and forth with myself until a string of 3 sentences changed it all. In less than 5 minutes, I went from the lowest point where it was finally revealed that I was in fact a coward to the feeling that I conquered my own fears of myself. The three sentences were…
“Just get out of the car”
“It’s not bad at all”
“Where do those stairs lead?”
To make a long story short, I finally talked myself into getting out of the car where I realized that it was nicer outside than in my car. A compromise was made with myself that if I just finished the half of the bridge that I needed then I would go home. Off I went up the bridge where I luckily capture the photo above when on the way back, I looked across the snowy road to see a staircase. Inquiring minds want to know right? Darting across the street, I quickly descended that staircase into an empty and peaceful snow covered field. With that, my mind was changed and I was off to finish the streets. Back at the car, I was overjoyed not from the run, but facing down what I feared most about myself. It will always be there, but surviving a battle with it made me much stronger.