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Embracing the Finish Line: A Runner's Journey of Fighting and Finding Peace

In the world of running, some athletes gracefully retire their racing shoes, content with the miles they've conquered and the finish lines crossed. Others push their bodies to the limit, fighting against time and physical limitations until they can no longer go on. And then, there are individuals like me—caught in the delicate dance between fighting for a passion and learning to make peace with the part of ourselves that yearns for a struggle.

For the past two years, I've been in a constant battle, not against competitors on the track, but with the internal conflict that comes with pursuing a relentless desire. The last vivid memory I have of a truly fulfilling training season dates back to the fall of 2021. Since then, I may have set personal records, but the hunger for success had shifted from a genuine passion to a desperate fight against the fear of losing that desire.

The fear of what it would mean if I stopped wanting it.

It's a peculiar sensation—pushing yourself forward not because of a burning desire to achieve greatness, but rather out of the fear of what lies beyond the finish line. The internal struggle can be exhausting, but I fought to keep myself in the game, clinging to the sport that had defined so much of my identity.

However, amidst the chaos of the struggle, a realization emerged—one that brought a sense of tranquility. I found myself in a place of contentment, grateful for the hours of relentless grinding, and even more thankful for the peace I've made with the sport. It was a moment of acknowledging that I had done some truly remarkable things, and now, I could be free to explore a new chapter, even if it meant doing less than what I was capable of.

The turning point was surrendering—letting go of the fear, the expectations, and the relentless pursuit of proving something. In this surrender, I discovered a profound sense of liberation. No longer burdened by the need to prove myself, I could now embrace the freedom to do what I wanted, even if it paled in comparison to my past achievements.

I've come to understand that the journey doesn't always end with a triumphant roar; sometimes, it concludes with a quiet acceptance. Most people may choose to bow out gracefully, but I've always lived out loud, advocating for the part of me and all of us that says it's not okay to give in. It's a declaration that surrendering is not a sign of weakness, but a testament to growth and self-awareness.

Now, I can proudly declare that I have nothing left to prove. I've already done that. And in this newfound space of freedom, I can choose to do whatever brings joy and fulfillment, even if it's a fraction of what I once achieved. It's about realizing that whatever we are is not just good enough—it might even be better than we thought, once we give ourselves the space to be free.

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