One Percent Doubt, You’re Out.

There are certain things in our lives that we don’t doubt. Ever. Unconditional love, the fact that my dog will get up and wag his tail like he’s missed me for years every time I walk in the door, the way a cold ice cream cone tastes on a summer day at the beach. Things we just know… we know. And there isn’t even an ounce of “not knowing” that creeps in. Not one.

And then something changes and we get our heart broken by the person we never thought would break our heart, the dog gets older and can’t get off the couch, and the ice cream is no longer the thing you want on a hot day. We start to question. Then we second-guess, then we doubt… then we don’t know what we thought we knew.

I can remember countless times as an athlete where I went into competition feeling a little less than completely sold on the fact that I was good enough. Scared of the people on the other side of the field, worried that I would let my teammates, my coach, my friends and family down. And that alone would send me into a spinout. The spiral downward of fear and doubt that would be really hard to stop once it started.

Then I go back to when I was seven. Seems to be my starting point for so many conversations. Think for a second about how easy life was… no responsibilities and no worries. Just what flavor ice cream you would get after the game, and if you were getting rainbow or chocolate sprinkles. And I remember being fearless. Like when you were even younger and were learning to walk. You fell down, you got up, you fell down, you got up. I don’t remember staying on the floor upset that we didn’t get it right, do you? We got up and didn’t doubt our ability to walk because truthfully, we just didn’t know any better. We just did it.

So then that seven-year-old grew from there. She didn’t question or wonder if she could. She just did. I have shared my story before about being the only girl on my Little League baseball team when I was seven. I didn’t doubt I could play with the boys. I didn’t question whether or not I would be accepted or if I should play. I just went and did it. Doubt often introduces us to a whole separate conversation. It opens up the opportunity to say we can’t. And then we often follow our words.

I can remember when I picked up new sports, or took a new job, or started to do things I swore I could never do. There was always that doubt creeping up behind my heart. Just enough to let me know it was there. But as soon as I felt it, it was replaced by a knowing that I could do anything I set my mind to.

When I started to run, I had not run more than a mile before. I just hated to run and always said I “can’t” when it came to running distances. September of 2013 I ran my first 5k. I finished in a somewhat respectable time considering I had to walk a good part of it. Then came November of 2014 and I decided to run with a running team that some friends were a part of to raise money for cancer. I ran in that one dressed as Wonder Woman as a part of a dare. My time was a little slower than the first one I did because I had to hold a wig and crown on my head. Then a few weeks later I was talked into running in the “Turkey Trot” on Thanksgiving day. My time was my best yet. December 6, 2014 I ran in my 4th 5k and was happy with  my time again. Then my 5th 5k came on New Year’s Day of this year. Again, a better time. And my 6th came on Super Bowl Sunday. My best time yet. Every time I run, I wear my Wonder Woman cape that I had embroidered with the words “I can’t to I did.” Each race, I pin a ribbon with the date and the time I ran it in. My goal is to fill the cape and keep improving my time. I am registered to run in the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia on May 3 of this year. 10 miles. I never before thought that would even be on my radar. Now, It’s happening. And I am raising money for the American Cancer Society as I get ready to run this one.

Today, I took that one percent doubt that has plagued me for so long about running And I threw it out. I just committed to run the Philly Half marathon in November. I have no doubt I can do this. From a non-runner to a runner. From I can’t to I did.
Instead of “One percent doubt, You’re out” speaking to me, I will speak to it.
SO…. I say this… “One percent doubt? YOU’re out.”

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