Don’t accept less
“Let’s talk trail etiquette. I want to expand my horizons and enter some longer races but I'm afraid I'm going to be really slow.”
“Is it okay to take as long as the time limit?”
New ultrarunners often worry about things I take for granted but this woman’s question was different
Because it wasn’t really about race etiquette.
It was about how she saw herself and her worth.
Here she was, weighing her worth against the potential for inconveniencing race staff who despite having decided to give runners 32 hours to run the race, still might have better things to do than wait for her to finish. She probably imagined she would be last and everyone would be sitting there, drumming their fingers, grumbling and waiting on her.
Everyone is given the full cutoff time in a race, including her. But there are so many ways like this we think we somehow don’t deserve the full amount of something we’ve already been given.
Our dreams. Our gifts. Our superpowers, for example.
So we ask others how much we're allowed to use of what’s been given to us.
Instead of deciding on our own just to own it.
If I were answering her I’d say, “It doesn’t matter how slow you are. Or if you’re last.”
“It doesn’t matter if all 299 other people in the race miraculously finish in five seconds flat and the volunteers and race director are left waiting 31:54 hours for you to cross the finish line under the 32-hour cutoff.”
“You get the full time in a race. Everyone does.”
“You’re not a less-worthy exception so don’t accept less.”
And neither are you! So the next time you think you’re less than, I want you to:
Own every second of that race time you need…and your life.
Own your space in the race…and in the world.
It’s all yours to see what you can make with it. It’s already been given to you.
Take it and run with it!