I was in a posh gym in Chicago a few years ago, it was located in a basement of a larger building with a weird wall made of orange fuzz and huge posters. Very 70s but they had Bumble & Bumble hair products and a steam room, I'm interested. I was waiting for a personal trainer to give me a tour of the space and I had decided to sweat it out and run a few intervals on the treadmill. (Barely) Crossing the full marathon finish line the previous year in San Fran, I remembered my lean and mean marathon coach telling me to take smaller steps to conserve energy for the longer distance. At the time, I was toying with the possibility of running the next Chicago marathon, so I was practicing running with my smaller steps on the treadmill that day.
The trainer who was to give me a tour snuck up to the right side of the treadmill and he looked at me funny, he asked, "Why are you runnin' like that?"
I informed him of my marathon training notes and small step theory. Envisioning it now, I probably looked about 97 years old taking tiny steps on a moving walkway in an airport.
He shook his head, "Seems strange that you would have such long legs and take those small steps. I say, use what God gave you and take bigger strides. Won't you save energy if you go farther with less energy anyway?".
Shit. It is a great point. I lengthened my stride and pushed the pace up a bit. My trainer nodded with approval.
And I have been taking longer strides every since, rocking finish lines and knowing my body better.
So here I am, sneaking up on your right side. You are training for this life race, so many finish lines, and someone told you to take shorter strides, someone told you you weren't enough, someone told you that you need a certificate for that, someone told you that you can't do that, someone told you to quit or that you don't fit in.....
And I am going to look at you funny and then ask you, right now, to look within, look in the mirror, know your skills, your body, and all of your amazing, weird, lanky, beautiful, creative, insightful and unique gifts. Write them down. Seriously, take out a pen and write them all down. And for the love of making shit happen and feeling alive, use what God, Buddha, the Universe, and/or yo Mama gave you.