Monday, June 4, 2012


Humility - noun
- the quality of having a modest or low view of one’s importance: he needs the humility to accept that their way may be better - Oxford Dictionary 

This is something I have struggled with internally since starting this blog. This blog is about me. This blog is written under the premise that what I say here matters and might make a difference to those who read it. It tells the story of me, my struggles, and my successes; it tells the story of my journey. My blog assumes that my journey is important for others to read. My blog started because someone once told me my story was worth sharing. Others will read it, appreciate it, relate to it, and be inspired by it, they said. I am not sure I believed them entirely. But I didn't forget what they said.

I put insecurities aside and started this blog about a year ago, as I embarked on my journey, training for my first half marathon after over 7 years of struggle with health. I was pleasantly surprised by the very positive response from my own network of friends and family, as well as the blog world, the world of social media, and the world of strangers who in one way or another, told me that they needed to hear some of what I said. I decided to keep going with the blog. It didn't matter how many people I was reaching, I also decided. If simply one person was benefiting from reading what I was sharing, that was enough for me.

Since then, I've loved the experience. I've experienced the true joy of writing about things I care about. I've loved the questions and feedback I've had from my readers. I've loved being able to have a place to share the whole experience of being a runner and a human being in a place where all my thoughts are accepted. But with this joyful experience, I've also experienced a lot of worry. I worry how some may read my words. I wonder if some may question my motives. I wonder if when I post a link to my blog or to my training log from DailyMile on Facebook or Twitter, if someone (or some"two") might be rolling their eyes - oh look, Zahida's showing off again. I wonder if they think I'm telling them what I've done to make them feel bad if they haven't done close to the same. Oh look, she's telling me she ran 30km again when she knows I can't. Or I wonder if people think I'm fishing for compliments. Oh look, she wants me to tell her she's amazing, again. And while I must admit, I appreciate the compliments I often get (I mean, who doesn't like to be called amazing?), it's really not what I'm going for.

It is hard to find the balance between self-confidence and ego. Perhaps I think this because I've never had as much self-confidence as I do at this point in my life. I've never been so comfortable in my own skin. I've never believed, in the way I do now, that my voice is important to be heard. So please, if I ever do come across as one with too big of an ego, kindly pull me aside and let me know. I really don't want to be that person.

What is my goal? What am I trying to achieve? I want to be positive. I want to be a positive influence on others. To be willing to be proud of myself and my accomplishments as to be an example to others that it's perfectly ok to be proud of oneself and one's accomplishments. It is perfectly ok to have self-confidence. It is perfectly acceptable to love oneself and dream about what you can do. I want to be one others can relate to, an example of an everyday person with struggles, who proved that their challenges were not insurmountable, and who is living their dream by believing in herself. That's what I want.

So what sparked this rant? The last two days. I've been so lucky to have had a number of people tell me over the last two days how they feel about me. I met with a girl I've chatted with online for a while but never met in person until yesterday. When she introduced me to her friend, she said, "I'd like you to meet my inspiration, Zahida." I was floored. Numerous other people between yesterday and today essentially said the same thing. Five in total have used the word "inspire" in one way or another. I don't really know how to react. It's some weird cosmic coincidence, perhaps. And then to put icing on the cake, and actual tears in my eyes, one of my Team In Training participants messaged me on Facebook just to tell me one thing - that she and her teammates love me. Again, I was floored. I continue to be floored. And here is my reaction - this blog post today.

With sincere gratitude and respect, thank you. Thank you for taking notice of my story and thinking what I have to say is important. Thank you for your dreams and indulging me by listening to mine. Thank you for the unsolicited compliments and kindness as I talk to you about my journey. Thank you for believing in yourself, and for believing in me. Thank you for fueling my passion and motivating me to continuously tie my laces and hit the pavement. Thank you for reading my blog and being part of my life.

love Zahida

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