10 More Minutes

10 More Minutes Selfie“Do you think I can make 10 more minutes?”

“Yes,” he said, “absolutely.”

One of the secrets of self doubt is that outside encouragement can obliterate it. That’s why I asked. And then I asked someone else. And then again. In total, I probably asked that question a dozen times. In the end, I made it.

Running is a solitary exercise without teammates to pass to, coaches to lean on, or goals to score. There are no external timers or whistles to maintain the game’s pace. Some runners talk about endorphins propelling their movements but I’m pretty sure mine don’t work. I don’t get high from running, I get cranky. I tell myself I can’t do it. I believe I can’t.

But I CAN do it. I HAVE done it. 

Sometimes I repeat those words as a running mantra, saying them over and over in my head. Sometimes it works. Sometimes show tunes help, and passerbys are lucky enough to hear a capella versions of Avenue Q songs. (You’re welcome.)

But not today. Today I took off my headphones and while I ran past, asked the folks on the benches if they thought I could make 10 more minutes.

“Yup,” said the guy with the sunglasses.

The pretty ladies with the yoga gear gave me a thumbs up and a “You go girl!” I felt silly but I kept asking.

I asked until I repeated the loop, forcing myself to run past my cheerleaders again. Four more minutes, I said, showing four on my fingers. Two more minutes.

It’s amazing how energy grows, spread by smiles and kind words. I surprised myself today, not by running for 30 minutes, but by adding another tool to the anxiety busting belt I’ve been building. “Do you think I can make it 10 more minutes” felt awkward, but abandoning my run with only ten minutes left would have felt like defeat, and defeat isn’t a skill I’m working on.

Posted by

Mel Kozakiewicz a professor, editor, writer, and mother of two.

One thought on “10 More Minutes

  1. Very encouraging!!!! You gained your SECOND WIND!!! When it seems like you’re at your wits end…then that PUSH comes and gives you what you strived for!!!! God is good!!!

Leave a Reply to Eliza Anthony Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s