Today is about getting started. Action. It can be the most difficult, and yet the simplest part of any goal. Physically, it makes sense. If you think of a bowling ball, it has no problem smashing those pins down once you get it rolling. The most impressive event of a bowling ball’s existence is actually not all that difficult. The more impressive part is probably the person that gets it started.
Think about how this applies to other things we are impressed by. The finish of a race? An impressive concert? Maybe a progressive law being passed? For any of these things to happen, there had to be a beginning. Something that got the ball rolling. That beginning probably wouldn’t have wowed you, but it might have made all the difference.
Our guest today is Latoya Shauntay Snell. She’s a mother, a runner, a chef, a cyclist, a writer, and more. She’s a strong voice for the black community and for body politics. Like you, she had a time when she got started. All the things she’s done had their first step. She shared with us what that’s been like and her journey so far.
What is Toxic Positivity?
When we share what we are doing, especially as we are just getting started, it’s very easy to want to come across as all sunshine and daises. You don’t want anyone to see your bad side, your unfinished product, your struggles. But can avoiding the hardships end up being a bad thing? Yes!
If we only share the good, we aren’t giving the whole picture. This can hurt us and the people we are sharing with. Allowing ourselves to be human, to be real, is so important to our mental wellbeing. It also helps us connect more with our audiences or friends and family.
This doesn’t mean you have to share everything, nor does it mean you can’t be a positive person and work to put a positive spin on things. It just means to not keep it all in, to not hide it all. Share how you are feeling and you’ll be surprised when people reach out and tell you they’ve had the same feelings too.
You’re Not a Late Bloomer
Whether you just graduated college or just retired, it’s not too late to get started. Latoya sees and associates with a lot of athletes that are running, lifting, or otherwise getting active for the first time, or at least the first time in a long time. It’s becoming more and more popular to start training with purpose without necessarily making it a career or working to be an elite athlete. And it’s happening at all ages.
There can be unnecessary pressure to plan out your life at a young age. A career, a degree, a hobby. It can feel like you will miss your opportunity if you don’t start yesterday, but we are seeing competitive weight lifters in their 60s and 70s who didn’t start till they were over 50, and ultrarunners that run 50 or 100 miles in similar age ranges.
The point is, it’s not too late. Why can’t you be the next outlier? It has to be someone, and the more outliers the better because it starts becoming normal. Don’t let anything about you deter you from starting today. Your race, your gender, your age, whatever it is, you’re not a late bloomer and you can get started.
Give Yourself Grace
Black lives matter. I will continue to say it on this platform, and I will continue to try to do my part. I hope that you will take the challenge to get started. Be an ally, and know that mistakes will come. They do with anything we try to do, that’s just how it is. You’ll probably say something wrong, at the wrong time, or to the wrong person, but you’re trying.
Give yourself grace as you get started. Latoya would be proud of you. Know that most people understand that you are making an effort, and that’s what matters. So, whatever it is you have been putting off, accept that the getting started can be the hardest, and that the momentum will carry you through the challenges. You can do it!
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Thank you to my wonderful sponsor Generation UCAN, Tracksmith, and Solar Sister for sponsoring this episode of the Running for Real Podcast.
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Tracksmith is a Boston based running clothing company that truly cares about the quality and care of their running clothes. Running can be a demanding lifestyle for our clothes, they definitely go through the wear and tear to where we may be purchasing new clothes constantly. Tracksmith designers truly work with the finest materials and think of you as a runner in mind with spots for your keys, phone, and fuel.
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This organization I discovered on my own, and I have donated to because I am very passionate about their cause. Solar Sister trains and supports women to deliver clean energy directly to homes in rural African communities. They provide essential services and training that enable women entrepreneurs to build sustainable businesses in their own communities. You can join in their women led movement of making the world a better place and to power the future. Go here to go find out more.
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Thank you to Latoya, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the show.