Get into the habit of saying “yes”

Inspirational quote with floral background. Quote reads" Turn your "no" into "YES"! Subheading reads "Just say "yes""

Turn your “no” into “yes”

I recently visited my family in Maryland . It was an impromptu visit. I literally made the decision to go the day before. So I quickly packed my bags the night before and picked up my 88 year-old mother(yep that was also an impromptu invitation) the next morning(Saturday) and we were on our way to Maryland. Four plus hours later we arrived at my sister’s.

It was a wonderful visit. All my nieces, nephews and siblings in the area came over to hang out and catch up. While we were sitting around the kitchen table, my niece Lillian mentioned she was running a 10K the next day. Lillian is a 3-4 time ironman competitor, she has completed multiple marathons, and a couple of ultra runs. She had injured her achilles after the last ultra run and had been taking it easy for a while. She also underwent surgery for her injury during that time. So, this was her first attempt at running in a race since her injury and post surgery.

Lillian invited me to sign up for the run and join her the next morning. My first instinct was to say “no” because I too had been recovering from a muscle tear in my calf, so I had not run in over a month and I had not run that distance since late December. I also realized that I forgot to pack my running shoes and I had no running attire. In fact I did say “no” at first. Lillian then asked her sister, Jenna if she would run in the race and Jenna said “only if Mary(me) would run with her. Again I resisted but I really wanted the experience of running with and bonding with my nieces, so I said “sure, why not but I need to get running shoes and clothes”.

We hopped in my car, headed out to the closest running store and I bought a pair of On CloudFlow Rose running shoes. Mind you I run in minimal, barefoot sole shoes and this was the closest the store had to what I normally run in. So $160 later I’m leaving the store with new shoes and socks. I borrowed athletic pants and shirt from my sister.

The next morning we headed to the running location. I was geared up and ready to go. My niece Lillian was with Jenna and I the first few seconds after the start of the run and off she ran ahead of us.

image of Pikes Peak 10k finish line

Jenna and I ran the first 4.5 – 5 miles together. I had been having some issues with my hamstring and my feet started to bother me, so I told Jenna no to let me hold her back because I was probably going to walk a lot of mile 6. So, I hobbled behind her as I saw her fade off in the distance. During this last mile the soles of my feet were burning so much they felt like they were on fire. My hamstring was so tight it was starting to affect my knee but I was determined to finish this run. I walked, ran, walked, ran, walked and when I spotted the finish line at the turn of the next block, I kicked it in to high gear and sprinted toward the finish line passing other runners on my way and finishing strong to the sound of my nieces and nephews(one a great nephew) cheering me on.

Let the race begin. It was an uphill start, but then leveled off and mostly small rolling hills and flat after that.

Shoes came immediately off at finish line

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I unlaced my shoes to return my timing chip and took my shoes and socks off to free my feet of the pain and burning. What a relief my feet felt once they were free of my shoes and socks. I walked over barefooted to where my family was standing at the finish line. We all had big smiles on our faces and we all managed to finish the race.

Image of author with nieces at a 10k run

I also had the opportunity to stick around and watch and cheer on my 7-year-old great nephew as he ran the 1/4 mile race and give him a high five as he crossed the finish line.

I am so glad I turned my “no” into “yes”. Just look at what I would have missed out on if I had declined. My future sees many more “yeses”.

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