You know that feeling that you get when it’s the first race of the season? Your heart is racing, palms sweaty, and stomach churning. Some might say that is true before every race, but the first race these symptoms are always magnified. Why is that? For many, I believe it all boils down to a fear of inadequacy. “I’m not race sharp,” or, “I haven’t been doing speedwork,” and other negative thoughts can quickly cloud the mind of any runner who isn’t careful. It’s not surprising, after all society trains our brains to believe we are never good enough and are always “lacking” something. But on raceday, whether you’re physically ready or not, the worse thing you can do is back out mentally before you’ve even begun.
Recently, I relocated to NJ to train with the NJNYTC. My first month here has been awesome, I finally get to live the dream; eat, sleep, run, and work at a running store! Tomorrow I will run my first race of the season, (and first ever race as a pro) the NYRR Dash to the Finish 5k in NYC. As I prepare myself mentally for the race, I easily could look at the field of Olympians and record holders and start making comparisons. Chances are, I’d think of areas where I’m “lacking,” whether it be experience or plain fitness. But instead, I prefer to enter the first race of every season with optimism. It’s a clean slate, there’s no pressure but the pressure to do my best and see where that places me. Sounds simple, right? But reality is that it takes continual psychological training.
For me, that mental edge comes from a lesson I learned from Athletes in Action a few weeks ago. AIA is a Christian Athletic Ministry, and a few weeks ago they handed out a list of 35 truths, one of which said that as a Christian, “I lack nothing.” This really stood out to me, because like I said, we are constantly told by society that we are lacking things. So what does this mean? Philippians 4:13 says, ” I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” And 4:19 says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.” Without going into great detail, the main message is that by accepting God to be the center of my life, my Saviour, I have everything I need to succeed if its meant to be. Having God in my life means my needs are met because He is all powerful, and can help me overcome anything. No, that doesn’t mean I could just hop in the NYC Marathon and God would let me win, instead it means I have peace of mind because He is with me. So from now on, when I step up to the starting line, #iLackNothing is my new motto. After all, if you are already on the start line, at that point there’s no looking back. YOU LACK NOTHING you need to just go and run the best you can, and if its meant to happen and you believe, then it will!