The Doubters, the Haters, and the Non-Believers – They Don’t Drive Me

This past Saturday I ran my longest run to date, 54 miles. It was not a sanctioned race or anything of the sort. It was simply a training run. There was so much I learned on this run and I will share all of that with you in my next post.

But there has been something that has been bugging me that I wanted to get off of my chest. After driving an hour to get home from running a very hard 54 miles, I was greeted with these words from a family friend:

Him: “You hurt?”
Me, as I limped in: “Yes, I hurt. I just ran 54 miles and it was hard. Of course I hurt.
Him: “I don’t think you can do 100.”

I could not wrap my head around what was just said to me. I continued to unpack all of my stuff that I lugged in without any help and continued on with nursing my knee, taking a shower and then a hot Epsom salt bath, and going to bed.

Meanwhile I got feedback from family that pretty much said “Great job…BUT….” Why not just leave it at “Great job?” Why add the “but?”

I posted what had just happened on my Facebook page and then tried to go to bed. I was so angry at what was just said to me, but too exhausted to fight about it. I figured I would just have to say my peace in the morning.

When I woke up, the conversation that I thought I’d have didn’t happen. Instead I let this person know that it was the wrong thing to say to someone after they worked so hard to finish something so hard. I explained the process of what a training run is and that if a training run went well, well I didn’t learn anything from it. I left it at that and went on my merry way.

What I’ve noticed since I started running are that there are the doubters, the haters, and the non-believers. The doubters are those who outwardly support you, encourage you, but you can hear it in the tone of their voice and see it in their eyes that they don’t think what you are about to attempt is possible. The haters make a mockery of what you do and then tell you every excuse why they don’t even attempt what you do. They make snide comments and jokes that only show you that they don’t have the courage to dream big. Then you have the non-believers. They don’t think you can succeed. They only see the struggles that you go through and count them as failures. And even when you do succeed at something, to them…you just got lucky.

I got a lot of feedback from my readers saying to “prove them wrong” and to used it as “fuel” and I really appreciate the sentiment and support.  But frankly, I would rather use the positive energy that I get from my supporters as fuel instead of the negative energy to prove someone wrong.  Even more, I don’t have to use anyone else’s energy but my own to finish my race. I run because it’s something that I love to do. I don’t run for anyone else but me. I set big goals and dream big because that’s who I am. I have the courage to face my fears and test my limits. And while I am afraid of failure, it doesn’t stop me from setting a goal where the risk for failure is high. What I’m afraid of more is finding out that I could’ve done something that I was too scared to try.

In the past, I’ve tried to use some of my races to bring attention to a cause or dedicate to someone special. I will always continue to do this. But, for my 100-miler…this race is mine. I will not do it to prove anything to anyone, but I will do it to prove to myself that once again, I have the guts and grit to take on something that seemed impossible.

This race is my race. I will own it and I will earn every step and every mile. I will embrace all the pain that I feel and relish in the success of finishing this race. Because this race is for me, I have no choice but to finish. I will not allow the doubters, the haters, or the non-believers to enter my mind or my heart on race day. There is no room for them. Instead, I will dig deeper than I ever have in my life and I will discover things about myself that I didn’t know, and I will finish.

SandraJames

13 thoughts on “The Doubters, the Haters, and the Non-Believers – They Don’t Drive Me

  1. Well said, my friend. Well said! I only wish I could be there to support you through the 100 miles. Know you will be in my thoughts that entire run. You will have to give my cell number to your crew so they can send me text updates throughout the day. Then I will feel like I am still there, supporting you.

  2. You said it – “there is no room for them.” I think that’s one of the many joys of running..you see who can climb with you. Power on!

  3. I think often times the doubters and haters are also just ignorant to your journey. Most who have ran a 100 will tell you that a 54 mile training run means you could absolutely run 100. I definitely don’t advise using someone who hasn’t lived it as a support system or a deterrent from getting your goal. It’s part jealousy and part befuddlement and no matter how much they feel like they “get it” they don’t.
    You’re going to be fine. You’re going to do great. And you’re 100% right — this is all for you. Let that positive aura drive you through the finish line!

  4. So proud of you! There is no place for negativity whether used to fuel motivation or not! Good will always win over bad! Run your race! Let your run speak for you!! Congrats on your 100 mile Finish in advance! You got this!

  5. Plain and simple…you rock!

    “People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.”
    ― Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience

  6. You will always find those people you describe and thought you handled it well. Very well put and so very proud of you. Know you have so much support and will be cheering you on from here! Please make sure your crew give us status updates so we can then send words of encouragement! Know that you inspire so many to take those huge leaps of faith. It is better to have the courage to start then to have never tried at all. ❤️

  7. Oh my gosh. I can’t believe someone would have the balls to say that to you. Actually, I can and you know what? It fuels my fire to do it more. You are so right – there are so many haters and doubters out there. But I don’t think that it has to do with the fact that they hate/doubt you or what you are trying to accomplish. I think it stems from their own insecurities. They may never aspire to run 100 miles, but the fact that you have an awesome goal and aren’t afraid to put yourself out there and try something huge makes them jealous. A few years ago, I remember telling this guy that ran with our group that I’d like to run a sub-3:10 marathon to qualify for NY. My PR at the time was a 3:24. It was just a goal I was setting. He proceeded to tell me that a 3:10 is “Cassie fast” (who is a really good friend of mine and just a super fast chick) and that I couldn’t do it. Six months later, I ran a 3:06. I never brought the conversation up again, but I know he was thinking about it the day he heard I ran that. He’s still never congratulated me. You will run that 100 miler, and you will CRUSH it!

  8. It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
    Theodore Roosevelt

  9. Sandy, I said it once, I’ll say it again. You are amazing. One hell of a bad ass chick. Relish in your accomplishment and those who can’t even think about it. What you forgot they would still have to learn!

  10. I run no where near the distances you are able; but I get the same responses as I prepare to do the Dopey Run in January where I will have to run a 5K, 10K, half and full marathon in 4days. Its gotten to the point where I just don’t care and laugh at them. My real support and genuinely ‘excited for me’ people are boggers, other runners, my wife and 8 year old son. But then I guess those are the only people that matter anyhow 🙂 I think you are great to go after a goal and look forward in watching your journey!. Like you I run for me …

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