Choosing to write your own story

YOU have the power to write your own story. Period. The end.

No, you cannot control the world around you and all that happens, though, you can choose to see the GOOD, rather than sulk in what didn’t go as planned..

One week ago I completed the Boston marathon. I was congratulated dozens of times before the race for qualifying and praised for “getting in.” Little did they know, I didn’t spend years trying to earn a spot with a qualifying time.  I often felt I needed to justify how I earned my opportunity to run. There was a slight guilt in me that maybe I didn’t deserve to be there.

Pretty much out of the blue, I signed up for a fundraising spot with Team AFSP, being given a bib for the 126th Boston Marathon in exchange for raising money for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.  I had dozens of fundraising ideas I was hoping to carry out, but only completed maybe 20% of them. I reached to to vendors for donations and never organized a raffle. I wanted to have my kids involved and didn’t. Had I failed?

On race day, in what is known as one of the most competitive, sought after marathons, I proceeded to run my slowest marathon time to date. 

In fact, 26 minutes slower than my personal best, not that anyone is counting. Despite feeling very ready for race day, I actually didn’t run the whole thing, I walked more times during the race than I can count….

In that moment, I had the power to decide how I would write my Boston Marathon story.

Photo of Team AFSP runnersI could look at this experience as a failure, let my imposter syndrome takeover once again, compare myself to others, or maybe one of the most damaging choices would have been to compare my performance to my past self. 

I could pressure myself to say I’m now even more driven to try to run a faster marathon or raise more money or, or, or…


I could flip the script and be so f-ing proud of all I DID accomplish:

  • I proved to myself I could actually complete a marathon. After 3 ACL surgeries, 3 c-sections and living with chronic knee pain for most of my 20’s, I freaking finished it AND better yet, I finished with very little knee pain AND no back pain (a new phenomenon since kids..can you relate?)
  • Part of my success was rooted in knowing my end goal: Finish it as pain free as possible and be present during the race. I stuck to my run training plan, completed my own strength training, did my core/hip/back mobility and strength exercises a minimum of 5x per week, and truly prioritized my hydration and sleep, two things that were not at their best a few months back.
  •  I shared more of my story than I have in the past. Every time someone make a comment about qualifying, I proudly shared I was running with @afspnation and WHY. It opened up the chance for conversation, some took it, some didn’t. Being vulnerable can be scary. I shared about my pain, my loss. I shared about releasing the need to “win.”
  • I found a deeper passion for #suicideprevention and connected with some f-ing amazing human beings as part of #TeamAFSP.
  • I started our #Run4Life run-training group that has been such a blessing. Running & community back together again.
  • I took time to listen to the WANT I had to have my family at the race with me, and helped make that happen. We spent lots of memorable time as a family before/after the race as well.
  • I freakin’ raised OVER $20k to help #savelives and #stopsuicide

So rather than live in the feeling of #notenough I choose to measure my progress. I choose to celebrate the wins.  And the great news is, you can choose to live this way too.  

My challenge for you today, is to identify something you have already succeeded at TODAY. It could be as simple as getting out of bed, or as complex as completing a 3-month work project. I’d love to hear some of your recent wins from today, this week or this month below. ❤️

Read more about my race day on my Facebook or Instagram


3 thoughts on “Choosing to write your own story

  1. Dick Sears Reply

    Each of us is on our own journey, living our own unique story. Celebrate life and what it unfolds for you. It’s a brief moment in time. It’s a flower. Show it proudly! Tender leadership Megan. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Trail running is a lot like real life… – Megan Caldwell Fitness & Coaching

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