To Find Your Inner Strength, the Third Time’s a Charm
What do you do when you fall down? You get back up! But, sometimes that’s easier said than done. Sometimes a fall can take you down hard enough that it’s damn near impossible to find the strength to get back up. And, if you’re not careful that fall can happen again and again, just like a broken record skips when being played. These falls can be either physical or emotional. But what’s behind both is your thinking. Fortunately or unfortunately for me, I had the lovely pleasure of experiencing both when attempting one goal: to complete a half marathon. It took me hours, a significant amount of effort, thousands of time looking down at my fitness watch from SpotTheWatch to track my progress to get to where I am now. I endured not one but two falls with significant injuries taking me out of the race. It wasn’t until my third attempt that I was able to succeed. What I learned through this process was monumental.
First, let’s explore the significant power of the number three.
I’m sure everyone has heard at one time or another that luck “comes in threes”. I heard this saying growing up, especially about bad luck. To my surprise my Google search yielded a ton of findings. Here are just a few: in numerology words attributed to the number three are energy, growth, expansion, creativity, manifestation etc.; in the bible it is used 467 times and it pictures completeness, counting to three is a common way to reach synchrony; in Chinese culture, it is believed that the number three is good because it sounds like the word “alive”, and as stated in Wikipedia,“the phrase ‘third time’s a charm’ refers to the superstition that after two failures in any endeavor, a third attempt is more likely to succeed.” Boy, oh boy, is that last one true!
In the Photo: Author Danielle Pascale completes her first half marathon Photo Credit: Danielle Pascale/Impakter
My training as a runner hasn’t always been on a smooth path. But, my injuries and struggles have come more from my mindset than from the actual act of running using the best cold weather running gear. When I decided my goal was to run a half marathon, I had just completed the Broad Street 10 Miler after having hip surgery just shy of one year prior. I was on top of the world and excited to have completed that race. So I thought, “I just ran 10 miles, how hard could it be to add three more miles?” But my training was interrupted by a nasty fall, just four weeks before the race, leading to a broken foot that needed surgery.
On that day, I vividly remember my lack of focus, my negative emotions and negative thinking. I was so focused on what was wrong in life that I got distracted and fell down hard.
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I was out of commission for over three months. When I got the “all clear” I was determined to start retraining. My recovery was mind-numbingly slow and my foot and calf were not responding. Three months into physical therapy with little improvement led me back to the surgeon for the unsettling news that a second surgery had to be performed.
This time my recovery was much quicker but came with the emotional baggage surgeons neglect to share. After three surgeries and many other stressors, my emotional brain and body could not keep up. Depression settled in and I gave up. With the help of my physical therapist keeping me on track and a wonderful life coach, I was able to dig myself out of the darkness and be pain-free both physically and emotionally. But getting back to training was another matter.
As the New Year began and my mind was in a much better place, I started my slow progression into training for this half marathon. There were lots of starts and stops. But by June, I was able to handle a 5 km run. This was a huge accomplishment that helped me tackle my fears and build up my confidence. Having decided to train for the September half marathon, I met with my running coach to develop a plan and was on my way. As September rolled near, I was unsettled by the feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious again.
Once more, I was emotionally stopped in my tracks. I was still training but I was not taking the best care of myself. I was focused on what could go wrong in every area of my life and the old demons of insecurity were living in my head space. I wasn’t allowing myself to have any fun. Ultimately it led to another injury just a week before the race. Again, I was not going to make it to the start line.
Photo Credit: Pexels
Reflection has been a big factor in my healing and I took the opportunity during this downtime to refocus. In a matter of two weeks, I was back out training for the November half marathon. This time when things felt overwhelming, I used my supports, my skills and tools, and was sure to be easy, loving, and nonjudgmental (not always an easy task). There were certainly times I could feel my brain trying to sabotage my goal but I was able to push through these times and relax into my training and enjoy it.
The path may be lined with rocks, pebbles, and cracks that lead to hard falls but these can only make you stronger. As the Law of Attraction states, ‘like attracts like.’
Race day came on November 19th. I was prepared and ready to go. I made it to the starting line, finally! Everything fell into place from the perfect parking spot to the beautiful weather. I know there will be more races in the future but this one will be forever etched in my memory. With my eyes open I can picture every detail of it still. Most importantly, I can feel it. I felt a kind of happiness, calmness and excitement I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I smiled from start to finish (except the hills, it’s impossible to smile through hills that steep).
The moral of the story is NEVER EVER give up on your goals. The path may be lined with rocks, pebbles, and cracks that lead to hard falls but these can only make you stronger. As the Law of Attraction states, “like attracts like.” In each instance I attracted the end result due to my unsettled, insecure inner demons. I sabotaged my goals. Upon reflection I was able to use those falls, injuries, feelings of devastation and sadness as a source of strength and determination. I chose to listen to the Universe, finally, and change my perspective from lack and contrast to abundance and desire. I became the badass I knew I could be to achieve my goal and it felt fabulous.
I challenge you to find your inner badass!
Recommended reading: “9 HABITS TO MANIFEST YOUR DREAMS USING THE LAW OF ATTRACTION”