Not to brag, but I will; a few weekends ago I ran a 5K Trail Race with some of my running friends. 3.2 miles through fields, up and down the side of a rocky, root covered, mountain. I haven't been running as much as I have in the past because we've had a ridiculously rainy summer and I've been busy doing other stuff, so I didn't expect very much in terms of being competitive in this race. Frankly, even when I have achieved some award at a race, it was not because I was expecting or even trying to run competitively. I never run expecting to win anything or beat anybody. I try to better my own time. And not die.
In any case, I received a medal - 2nd place in the 40-49 year old Female age group, about 2:30 minutes behind my friend, who won our age group. My team did really well, winning the Overall Male and Overall Female awards, plus 2nd Place Overall Female. I was proud of my team, and that's an understatement. I threw up a bunch of photos and posts on social media bragging on my winning team. And we all had my new law firm running shirts on, which made our success even sweeter.
After that morning, I felt good. Not only about how great my team did or adding another medal to my nifty wall display at the office (early relationship Christmas gift from my man-friend, Chester Copperpot), but I felt good that I accomplished something that I never thought I could; that other people told me I couldn't do for various reasons.
But then Monday came, and I received a nasty-gram in response to an email where I was attempting to be a nice person and give someone a way out of the bullshit swamp of lies he created, unfortunately in violation of a court ordered agreement we have. Part of his defense, as it usually is, is to distract from the issue by crapping on me. This is always infuriating, but this particular time it hit home. He was essentially calling me a failure. And suddenly, my cool 2nd place -running up a mountain - bad ass - winner medal didn't matter. Was he right?
As I sat at my desk reading and re-reading this paragraph - the "I told you so" part and the "you know as well as anyone how difficult building a law practice is from the ground up..." I started to doubt myself and my vision. Maybe he was right. Maybe I was biting off more than I could chew?
I went to grab lunch and run some errands. At the bank, as I made yet another deposit into my business account, I started chuckling. Then it was a good laugh, and I felt a little badly because the guy at the drive thru window probably thought I was laughing at him. It was a bit weird. But as I dropped my checks and deposit slip into the clear vacuum tube, it dawned on me; I was doing it. I was building my practice - with a little help from my friends, of course, but the vision was already taking shape. It's a slow build, like the slow clap in 90's teen movies after someone stands up for the weird kid.
One of the things I am trying to stop myself from doing is listening to anyone or anything - like the nasty voice in my head that sometimes tells me I can't do something - who isn't going to offer support. Undoubtedly, this vision of mine is the most difficult task I have ever tackled. But I'm doing it. I'm surrounded by supportive staff and colleagues who believe in my vision too.
At one point during my 3.2 miles up and down the mountain, I felt like I needed to stop. I turned my ankle a little weirdly on a wet rock and felt a pain up into my knee. I looked at my Garmin running watch and saw I only had about 1/2 a mile left. I could see the bright pink logo of my law firm in the woods ahead of me. The finish line - the goal - was up ahead, so I pushed through and kept going. I didn't set the world on fire with my finish time, but I finished.
I had been told that I would never be able to run trails or run at all. But I was doing it, improving with every attempt, and loving every moment. I get to do it with my good friends and my little girl.
So nasty emails and nasty voices can suck it! I'm going finish what I started. There is no doubt.