A Running Dare-to-Dream Team

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It's all in your head.

Usually when someone says that to me, it's a bad thing.  But last Saturday as I hopped on the treadmill to run 10 miles as part my training for next year's Boston marathon, the voices in my head kept me going.

After the bombings, I decided to run.  Actually I said I MIGHT run, but given that I said it in a public space, I suppose I was hoping you'd dare me to.  You did.

Voice in my head #1 — you.

Voice #2 — Cheryl Kellond, founder of Bia Sport, who wrote “women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are rocking endurance sports”; I continually hear her whispering in my ear — “Whitney, You are an athlete!“.  Voice #3 is Emily Orton. When her fifth child was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Emily decided to run to prove to herself and her daughter that she can do hard things.

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When I start to feel slightly nauseous or like I am going to lose my balance, I hear Laurel Christensen saying, “You're not the girl you used to be”.  As I do sprints, Jane Barratt gently urges me, “Just a little faster!”, while my husband helps me calibrate, push myself, pull back, avoid injury.  Voices #4, #5 and #6.  Then there's Voice #7: Everest, my accountability partner, that gives me that electronic Atta Girl.

I don't know that I am ready to officially declare this a dream; I can't yet picture myself crossing the finish line. But I am daring, and thanks to these voices in my head — my splendidly dare-to-dream team — I'm starting to do.

Who are the voices in your head when you are doing hard things?
Have you told those people that they inspire and encourage you?

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