Dirt in your skirt blog

Running With the Ghost

Posted on December 10, 2012 by Margaret Schlachter

My feet pounded on the rough terrain, pebbles and sand filled my shoes from the multiple swamp crossings, as I ran I kept hearing her behind me. As I ran down the those last three miles better known to those racing as a the loneliest miles. The barren land, dry creek beds with fossils from an ancient sea that once was and now all that are left are remnants of shells encased in rock. She was always there never wavering, I tried to slip out of her sight, picked up the pace, wanted to escape her. When I ran past the trampled cactus she was still there stride for stride with me.

I could not escape her; her voice reverberated in my head. I could not drown out the doubt, the fear, and the insecurities she expelled. She seemed to know what to say when, and the words festered in my mind as I continued down the trail. The footsteps seemed to get louder and louder as I progressed onward. I knew if I wanted to succeed I would have to push her from my mind, push her words, her constant presence and create my own path.

As time pressed on she was unrelenting. On the verge of madness, I turned my head to look her in the eyes, only to find my tormenter was myself. The whole time I had been alone without another racer in sight. I glanced around again to confirm this was true, only to find the barren land around me. The voices only those in my head. The acoustics from the surrounding landscape had created a strange echo that sounded like another set of footsteps. That was the moment that I realized I was really only running from one person and that was the ghost of my own self-doubt.

When we come face-to-face with ourselves that is the moment we often look at our own biggest tormenter. As I looked her in the eyes, I fought back. In this battle on this day, I didn’t let the ghost of self-doubt win. It was a small victory in the greater war, but one, which was pivotal at that moment. The war is one that is always constant and winning the battles along the way are just steps to self-actualization and ultimately pieces of the puzzle to unlocking your own limitless power.

On this day I won. Then came Sunday…