I did it! WTF, I did it!
Three weeks ago, I signed up to run a 5k race...alone. This morning, I showed up without a gaggle of lesbo friends or queer woes with #teamLWord t-shirts. It was just me, my fanny pack, and Cardi B + Kendrick Lamar taking turns cheering me on through my earbuds. Don't laugh at my fanny pack; it's legit.
As fun as this sounds. I started experiencing symptoms of anxiety on the BART ride over. It wasn't anything major but enough for me to feel uncomfortable. I took several deep breaths to slow my mind and heart rate. After a few seconds, I took mental notes of why this was happening.
What if I don't show up on time.
I don't know anyone there and no one will talk to me.
I haven't run consistently in almost four weeks. What if I can't finish. I'll embarrass myself in front of all these people I don't know.
I can't believe I did this to myself. I can just go home. ugh!
And so one and so forth...
until I made it to my destination. The smallest moments of being present and grateful erased all fear, expectations, and discomfort I was feeling. It looked like this:
On the way over, I had the opportunity to share my legal apprenticeship journey with the Uber driver as he expressed interest in attending law school. He was thrilled and excited to research it more to ti decide if it would be a good law school experience for him. ***I never talk to my Uber drivers, FYI.
Where there is music, I will dance. The DJ had already started the party, so I walked up to a dance floor filled with turquoise t-shirt-wearing "Hella Gay 5K" runners, sprinkled with glitter + oh-so lovely energy. I couldn't help but smile + join the "warm-up".
Running on pavement is very different from running on the treadmill. My pace was off but faster, so the .1 miles increased a lot quicker. At 1.5 mile, I felt amazing, I knew it wouldn't be so bad after all. The temperature was mid-60s, overcast and Lake Merritt was perfectly calm and serene as we made the loop around. How can you not be happy in the moment when this is your view?!
There were Jell-O shots at mile 1, made by one of the creators of the event! Stopped to enjoy one and took one "for the road".
I ran by one of my favorite spots along Lake Merritt, Lake Chalet. It's this wonderful waterfront restaurant where I attended networking meetings with my mentor the first year of my apprenticeship. I met some wonderful people who I hope to work with in some capacity and a few I have the honor of calling my friend.
Did I already mention Cardi B and Kendrick Lamar ran with me? It was lit all the way around the damn lake, y'all!
At the 2.9 mile mark, the event staff hooped and hollered as we finished the last .2! They greeted us with some sweet swag + champagne. The DJ never stopped playing, and a hella gay dance party ensued.
I had street tacos and treated myself to an awesome sports massage afterwards at a spa close by the lake.
Magic. There was no time in the middle of all of that to focus on the discomfort I had originally experienced. All was well, and I conquered a social fear-something I never thought I'd do. Seriously.
What does discomfit feel like + how do we feel through it? We just do it. Discomfort is yucky. It's like your ex calling and you begin to doubt yourself in every way. Choose to walk towards it, sit in it like you're taking a mud bath. Then allow every positive affirmation and present moment of gratitude to wash over you, rinsing you clean.
Today empowered me. Like whoa.
Have you ever been in a situation where you can feel the nervousness and anxiety seeping through your pores?
Take a mud bath then rinse off.
Be kind to yourself.