As part of my masters at University, I wrote a children’s picture book based on the story of Kathrine Switzer. She was the first woman to ever officially run the Boston Marathon. At that time, it was unheard of that a woman would run a race, let alone a marathon! Long story short, she was attacked during the race by a man insisting she stop because women weren’t allowed to run and she was frequently asked, ‘when are you going to stop?’ throughout the race. No one expected she would ever finish. However, no matter what she was faced with, she persisted. As a result, she became the first woman to officially finish the Boston Marathon and was a vital part in the progression of women’s sport. She paved the way for girls and women like me, to be able to pursue their sporting dreams.
My point with all this is, that we all have to start somewhere, and no matter what our journey looks like, we will have people questioning us. There will always be someone with an unhelpful comment or someone who thinks you will never achieve your goals. However, Switzer shows the power of self belief, because it doesn’t matter what others say about you, what matters is what you say to yourself. You have the power to overcome whatever you set your mind to. It is only the questioning of others that makes you doubt yourself. If you can work to block this out and ignore those who enjoy having an opinion, who knows what you could be capable of. If you feel you should pursue something, then do it, because you’ll regret it if you don’t. People will always have something to say, but you’ll be the one laughing as you experience happiness whilst chasing your goals.
Some people may say that following your dreams can be selfish at times. I’m not denying there is some truth to that, but in order to progress as an individual you have to invest in yourself. It could be interpreted as selfish, but putting time into yourself is one of the greatest life investments. It is quite the opposite of selfish. By choosing ourselves , we are able to help others more than we realise.
If we have the confidence to pursue our own dreams, we might be surprised by how much this helps someone else to do the same. Every journey is different, but this is where the power lies. Every single person, has the capacity to inspire a slightly different audience. Whatever you go through, your struggles, your highs, and your daily battles, someone out there will relate to them, so we can all use our journeys to help others through theirs. Following your ambitions has the capacity to change other peoples lives, just like Kathrine Switzer’s journey did. It was her bravery and determination that gave us the confidence to pursue our sporting dreams. If we have the courage to follow ours and persist through difficult times, then who knows what benefit this could have to future generations.
To read more about Switzer’s story, click here:
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!