“Some people believe holding on and hanging in there are signs of great strength. However, there are times when it takes much more strength to know when to let go and then do it.” Ann Landers
This has been a difficult blog to write. Actually, this week has been a difficult week to live. My ethos in life is to keep going. You say you’re going to run a marathon, you run a marathon. For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been training for the London Marathon, but I’m no longer sure it’s something I can do this year. Part of me would like the quote at the top to say: “Failure is not an option.” As a driven person and a single mum, I want to prove to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to and be an example to my kids that they can do anything they put their minds to.
I don’t even know if I consider it a fail, but I am reframing my version of success.
When to let go
I could write that my physio and my doctor think it would be a good idea to pull out of the London Marathon and it would be true. I have no doubt that tomorrow my endocrinologist will agree. But they are not the reason I am thinking of pulling out. The main reason I am contemplating pulling out is because I need to look after myself.
I have pushed this body of mine past its limits so many times in my life. I know that I could do it again. Part of me wants to. I know I would love the adulation that comes from pushing through. It feels good for people to be in awe of what I can achieve, but does it ultimately bring happiness? The answer is not as simple as yes or no. When I ran New York, I did so because I wanted to and I was healthy and strong and my heart was 100% in it. Even then, it took a lot out of me.
So here I am making what is the toughest call for me — to back down and concede. But I know that sometimes letting go is the very thing that makes you who you are.
I am drawing on resources I built after I left my marriage.
My identity as a married mother of two was important to me; I had put a great deal energy into that version of reality. But becoming a single mother, as much as it was a huge adjustment, was actually freeing. I was free to find out and become the woman I truly wanted to be.
I see this as the same opportunity. I will have time to relax and let my body heal. My business is growing quicker than I could have anticipated and now I can immerse myself in that.
So as I take stock and decide whether or not to pull out of London, I am celebrating my successes that have left me with the emotional resilience to deal with whichever decision I make.
It is taking more strength to be considering pulling out than to persevere. I was to return to England victorious, but in the end how I define victory comes from the inside not from other people’s opinions.
So now it is time to look deep inside and decide what is best for me.