“Don’t be kind of bold. Be bold.” – William Zissner
How satisfying to come into Colorado University Stadium and cross the finish line of the Bolder Boulder 10K. I almost didn’t make it. I almost took myself out of the race before it even started.
Here’s what happened.
The BB is one of the largest 10K races (6.2 miles) in the country with 50,000 participants. I am going to be in Boulder for the summer working with clients and spending time with my son Tom and his family, and thought it’d be a fun event to do together. It would give us something to train for and look forward to. A memory in the making.
This is no ordinary race. It’s got water slides, a singing Elvis, a Macarena dance-along, costumes, parents with babies in backpacks, shuffling dinosaurs, all with the stunning Colorado mountains as a backdrop.
Unfortunately, in the days leading to the race, the wimp inside me started speaking up.
“You’re not in good enough shape to finish. You didn’t train the way you should have.”
“Your knee has been popping out of place. What if that happens in the race?”
“It’s going to be a hassle getting into town, trying to find parking with all the crowds.”
Who was this unwelcome voice, this nay-sayer, taking pot shots at my dream?
Growing up, I had promised myself I wouldn’t become a grump, grousing about my age, my aches and pains, taking myself out of the game of life. Yet here I was doing what I had promised myself I wouldn’t.
I had organized running programs in Wash DC when I was in my thirties. We would take people who hadn’t run before, and with the support of our enjoyable group jogs, they could finish a 10K. Yet here I was, wondering and worrying whether I could finish a 10K … walking. It was embarrassing.
The good news? George Eliot said, “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.”
It’s also never too late to be who we want to be.
I told those doubts to get lost and started focusing on what a one-of-a-kind OPPORTUNITY this was.
I reminded myself how glad I would always be I went ahead and did this instead of chickening out.
I realized Tom and Patty could go at their pace, I could go at mine. That removed pressure. I told myself that if I needed to drop out, I could; but I would make that decision DURING the race, not BEFORE.
The night before, Tom opened our race packet, got out our t-shirts, pinned our numbers to the front, and researched the event online. After seeing all the closed streets, he wisely ordered an Uber so we could zip into town the next morning with no problems. Doing the actual prep made it all easy peasy.
Memorial Day dawned bright and sunny. A perfect day. The excitement and sheer fun of being surrounded by people making the most of their health and life was inspiring.
My comfortable pace allowed me to genuinely enjoy and imprint every step of this memorable experience. I wasn’t fast, but I finished ahead of the dinosaur. Only in the Bolder Boulder can you say that.
As I came up the final hill and into the stadium, I kept thinking, “I did it. I did it.”
Those words “I did it. I did it” are a fountain of confidence.
Every time we step up and do something that is in alignment with who we want to be, we like ourselves and our life a little bit more.
Every time we back out of something we want to do, we chip away at our confidence. We think less of ourselves when we pass up opportunities that would make the most of our life.
What is your version of the Bolder Boulder? What is something you’ve been thinking about doing, but those nay-saying doubts are creeping in?
Is it going for a promotion? Signing up for Toastmasters? Registering for an online course? Asking someone out? Competing in a sports event? Traveling somewhere by yourself?
Ask yourself, “Am I going to back out or be bold? Am I going to be a spectator or a participant? Am I going to choose fear or hope?”
Which feels better? Which will you always be glad you did?
You will never regret putting yourself into the game of life; you will only regret taking yourself out and missing the satisfying, confidence-building experiences and opportunities that could have been yours.
Im speaking from experience. Be a spy for hope. When making a decision, pick the BOLDER of the options.