Running a Mile (or Three) in My Own Shoes

The old saying goes “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

While I believe this is true, I also think that many times we take our own experiences for granted. I can easily wish that I was more athletic or had a better job or that I would get swept off my feet tomorrow but we all know that wishful thinking isn’t going to get us where want to go (unless of course you are Gisele– I really do adore that movie).

 I think that we should all try a little harder to reach our goals, to get what we want rather than spend our time trying to understand other people’s experiences.  Knowledge and understanding really do help us but is the knowledge that you gain from walking in someone else’s shoes going to help me achieve my goals.  The answer is no.

Let me explain.

Although having insight into another’s person life can stop you from being judgmental, give you a little motivation and save you from the “grass is always greener” syndrome, none of that matters unless you take what you’ve learned and run with it.

That is exactly what I am doing. I’m going out today to buy a brand new pair of running shoes and for the next five and a half months I am going to train as hard as I can for the Iron Girl triathlon in Columbia, MD. This race is for women only. Some will be completing the triathlon individually while others (including myself) are part of a three person relay team. 

I have never enjoyed sports or gym, let alone running. In fact, I particularly despised running the mile when I was younger.  So why am I participating in a 5K you ask?  I’m doing this for a lot of reasons but most of all because I want to learn about myself. I want to know if I am strong enough to see this through.  

Even though I have only just started this training process I have already learned something very important about myself and that is:

I could run a mile if my life depended on it…..but any farther than that I am out of luck. (haha).   This race is something that I am doing in honor of my father and people who have dealt with cancer in their lives and me.  I realized that for the longest time I never had anything that was mine. I never did anything that was purely for me.  I even graduated college early because I was trying to grow up too fast not because I really wanted to.

So in five and a half months, God willing, I will be crossing that finish line and finally be able to say I did this!  As much as I welcome understanding other people’s experiences and the knowledge that comes along with that I think, for now, I am going to try to understand my own. 

Xo Aly


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