I had the honor and privilege to skate in the Squiggy Classic Inline Skate Marathon in Tampa, Florida with a POWERFUL group of ladies from my Skate Every Damn Day community. We ROCKED it!! I’m so proud of my team. We have our own stories of rising above challenge, and pursuing a goal with relentless dedication until we see it come into reality. That day will always be an unforgettable day in our hearts and minds, because we did something together that those who rejected us and doubted us never saw coming – we completed a skate marathon, on quad skates, for the first time in Squiggy’s history. We were the first quad skaters to ever complete the marathon!
Our team, The Defectors, is comprised of women who have had issues with teams in the past. Instead of try to assimilate with an established team, we formed our own and did something way outside of the box. This team was formed out of a community that I founded, based in the same spirit – I didn’t have a league, so I made my own group. I couldn’t fit in with a group of 14 people, and now I have nearly 1300 skaters around the world in my community. From that group, a formidable team of 5 women embarked on a journey to train, enter, and complete a marathon. And we’re no spring chickens – we’re in our 30s and 40s.
Some of our journeys involved injuries, surgeries, and heartache. Two of us have metal pieces in our legs from breaking bones. Yet, we continue to skate. Not because we have to, but because we CHOOSE to.
Oh, look! We also met up with Erin Jackson at the race! ♥
Endurance athletes often talk about “the wall.” The wall is a horrifying place that so many face, and very few overcome. The wall is where our energy is GONE. Our will is shattered. It’s a place we feel we’ll never ever get past, and it’s this huge barrier between where we are, and where we want to go. The wall makes us forget how far we’ve come. The wall is big and intimidating, and sizes us up to make us feel small, defeated, and busted.
However, there’s something more powerful than that wall – the vision of what’s possible.
Our bodies are WAY more capable than our minds. Our brains have an inherent mechanism to limit us, because it conserves energy. We’re programmed to be lazy…and yet we find incredible satisfaction from the rewards that are reaped from doing difficult things.
When facing the wall, it’s important to tap into our WHY – WHY are we doing this? WHY did we decide to do the race? WHY have we been training for over 2 months? WHY did we drive hundreds of miles to get up at 4AM to do something very challenging? Why did lace up, in the rain, to do something that was going to test our minds, our bodies and our spirits? WHY did we do this to ourselves?
Why? Because a few hours of challenge leads to a lifetime of bragging rights. We did it because we can wear our race shirts proudly everywhere we go, and share our incredible story about our team, our training, our experience in the race and our glowing pride. We did it because dammit, we WANTED to. We did it because the 30+ miles skated (26.2 in the race and several miles to and from the cars to the start point) in one day was possible because of the HUNDREDS, even THOUSANDS of miles skated over the course of YEARS to prepare us for it. We did it because there may be people who doubt us, but we also doubt ourselves…and so we had to prove them AND our own doubting minds that yes, we CAN do it!
My mind can be a right bastard at times. It can deceive me and remind me of all the injuries I’ve experienced, on and off skates. It can lie to me and tell me that I’m feeling EVERY single injury I’ve ever experienced while I’m tapping deep to find the inspiration to keep going. Then, I am reminded that my body has endured so much, and that it WILL keep going. It’s my mind that needs a workout. So, I told myself – I CAN. I WILL. I AM DOING THIS.
I said this mantra for the better part of 15 miles.
15 miles can seem like an eternity, but it’s totally doable by making small goals. Get to that bend. See that tree ahead? Just get there. Give a “WOO HOO!!!” at every mile marker. Put one foot in front of the other. Pray. Realize how far you’ve come, and how far you will go in your life.
My questions to you are:
What do you want in this life?
What’s holding you back from your dream?
What are you willing to lose so you can gain something greater?
WHY do you want to blast past your current circumstances?
WHY do you deserve it?
WHY are you holding onto the things that are holding you back?
Feel free to reply, or to take this on as a personal assignment. Either way, I challenge you to embrace these hard questions, and to answer them honestly. Afterward, meditate on what you want in your life, and SEE yourself actually SMASHING your goals!
After all, if a group of subversive, nonconformist Defectors can come together and make history, ANYTHING is possible. Anything is possible for ANYONE – and that means you, too 😉
See you on the path, dear one ♥
– Karen (AKA Smash Tank 🙂 )