Cross finish line and create positives through perception

Published 9:48 am Sunday, June 10, 2018

How many times have you made excuses for why you can’t do something?

I have asthma and I used to tell myself that I cannot run. I told myself that story so many times that I truly believed it. I believed it so much that I wouldn’t even try.

Then I went to spectate a half marathon in Chicago. My entire family was there running and I was just watching thinking there would be no way I could even run a mile.

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As I waited at the finish line, I saw the most beautifully amazing thing. There were people of every age, in wheelchairs, with prosthetics, and fighting battles that were way worse than anything I have ever suffered, from getting their race finisher medals.

These people have stories just like all of us but one thing was different. They changed their perspective and told themselves they could do it.

After that weekend, I went home and changed my story. Yes, I have asthma but I also have strength and faith that I can at least try. So I started running.

First week I was struggling for just three blocks but I kept pushing myself a little further each week. I also learned to listen to my body and rested when I needed to. Then, the fall of the following year, I ran my first half marathon in Columbus.

I was slow but I finished.

After that race, my story changed even more. I conquered what I thought was a weakness and accomplished a goal I thought I could never reach, all by altering my own personal perception of what I was dealing with physically and mentally.

As a trainer and strength coach, I’ve learned that everyone has a story they’ve been telling themselves for so long that they believe fiction to be fact. When in reality, it’s more about how we view the chaos or situations we are surrounded by daily that determines our effort.

Now you’re probably asking yourself how can you change your own perception?

An exercise I just started doing not only just for health and fitness but for life management in general is to write it all out.

Write down your biggest fear or weakness and repeat it in your head over and over again until you’re tired of hearing it. Then, come up with three positives that negate each fear and weakness. Find that light in your own darkness and create something beautiful.

You too can cross that finish line, just by changing your story.


Vivianne Vallance is a personal trainer, health coach and yoga instructor working in Lawrence County.