I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of our best attractions is the only zoo in the country built on the side of a mountain. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is beautiful and unique. I’ve made so many trips there since I was a little girl that I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve walked through the gate. Last weekend I did the one thing there that I haven’t before. I volunteered for The Run to the Shrine 5K.
Circumventing the Excuse
For three years now, I’ve told myself I would volunteer but something was always in the way. This year I signed up before I could come up with a reason not to. I still wasn’t brave enough to sign up for the actual run (I wasn’t sure I could run two miles on flat land, let alone up a mountain road) but I did decide this would be my stepping stone goal. I would volunteer and see what was involved in this distinctive 5K.
What is involved is a starting line crowded with 1500 participants of all ages. From starting point to halfway point is 2 miles up the mountain. The last half is two miles downhill to the finish line and the party. Food, vendors, and lots of endorphins wait just past the end. I stood somewhere in between, shaking maracas and cheering on the participants.
Volunteering had its perks (a cool shirt, 50% off food, more activity by 8 am than I usually fit in before noon) but the biggest advantage is that I was so inspired by the participants that I have decided to join them next year. I had this vision before of all these super fit people in their 20s to 40s running up a mountain. I was so wrong. The participants ranged from newborns in front carriers to a couple in their 70s. One mom pushed a stroller with a toddler, carried her newborn in a front pack, and wore a full-on cat outfit complete with a tail. I realized that no matter how much huffing and puffing everyone was doing, they all seemed to enjoy themselves. It was that joy that inspired me to sign up next year.
My challenge for you is to find that one thing you think you can’t do and take a step towards it. Chances are that it isn’t the big, hulking image your tricky mind has convinced you it is. Finding a way to participate in a smaller way will help to resize the image in your mind and allow you to see yourself as part of it. Don’t stand in the shadows. Grab a maraca and join the party.