Whenever stages of my running begin anew, there have always been difficult periods of transition and anxiety that go along with it. Whether it was going from Junior High to High School, High School to College, College to Pros, changing coaches over the years, or where I’m at now Pro to racer/advocate- there are always challenges and self-doubt along the way. I would wonder if I was good enough, if I would fit in. At times I would immediately get injured, and wonder if I’d ever get back. I’d doubt my decisions and my coaches and wonder why I ever thought I could make it in a new place.
This doesn’t just apply to running. It could be the start of a new job, a new school. Trying to make it with a new group of friends. Having a baby or moving to a new state. We all are constantly trying to survive overwhelming Year Ones. We are not alone.
Whenever I go through periods like this, I try to remember that the same old me is still there. For instance in running, I am still the same runner that was successful and outgrew the period that she had been in. Even in the times of doubt I’d remind myself that the talent was still in there. I also like to remind myself that history tells me I make good decisions. Even the challenging ones. I remind myself why I made the decision for that change in the first place. And it certainly helps to know you are not alone. I’d tell my new teammates that I was having doubts or talk to my family. They would always encourage me to keep at it- that I made a great decision to start this next chapter. Remember, if you never start a new chapter, you can never move on in your book.
So if you find yourself in a Year One and are struggling, know that you are not alone. Not everyone looking brave really is. Some are questioning themselves and just trying to survive until they feel comfortable. And it will get better, it really will. You will make new friends, get more confident at what you are doing, and you will believe in yourself as you should. Hang in there, think of me, and enjoy writing a new chapter. After all, your journey is ever evolving, give yourself a chance to shine!