This week I began a new adventure serving as an Assistant Coach for the Girls on the Run program! A few weeks ago, when I got my curriculum binder that details all of the lessons that we cover during each practice, it made me realize something: if Girls on the Run is a program that aims to empower these girls to be the best versions of themselves they can be, who am I to be a role model to them when I’m constantly beating myself up?
This evening I took my second physics test. Before I left for class, I had kind of a nervous belly. I had studied. I had practiced and practiced doing these problems so much that I’ve actually—I kid you not—started having dreams this semester about math. I LEARNED the content, inside and out. And when the test was passed out and Mr. Know-It-All-Whom-I-Can’t-Stand laughed and said, “Oh, I’ll finish this really fast!” because it was one sheet, front and back (the front was multiple choice), it hit me: I was ready. I was capable. I could do it.
And I did. I found myself totally engrossed in the word problems, getting more excited every second as it dawned on me that I was finally turning into the problem-solver I so desperately wanted to be last semester when I was trying to get through Quant. I was actually enjoying myself, using the known quantities to solve for my unknowns (my mom said I was always good at puzzles when I was little…so fun!). But when the fun came to an end, I stood, stapled the exam, handed it in, and walked out the door to wait in the hall.
Mr. Know-It-All-Whom-I-Can’t-Stand was still working. I had finished first, but I felt good.
And as the rest of those Smarty, Soon-to-Be-Engineer-Boys finished up and came out to join me in the hall, I found myself holding my own as we argued about how to solve each of the problems on the test. I think the best part was when one of them turned away as I was explaining how I got a certain answer and admitted, “Yeah. You’re probably right.”
Take. That. Boys!!
There are days when I wonder what I’ve gotten myself into with this baloney. There are days when I compare myself to others and tear myself down:
“I’m not as smart as the boys in my physics class.”
“I’m not fast enough to call myself a Real Collegiate Runner.”
“I can’t handle the pressure of being a chemist.”
“I’m a mess 99% of the time.”
Blah. Blah. Blah. Why? Why do I tell myself these things? Why not replace those lies with the truth? If anything, this school year has taught me:
That I can handle the Hardest Chemistry Teacher Ever (who will, on the last day of the final exam, buy me a Maryville t-shirt from the bookstore. True story…I wore it today!).
That I can handle hanging with the Engineering Boys (and that I can solve problems just as well as they can!).
That I can handle working independently.
That I can handle staying at school on the weekends for practice and meets because I love it here with my teammates.
That I can handle running in a race against girls who have been running competitively since middle school.
That, while this isn’t by any means easy, I am capable. I can handle this.
I’m sure there are a million quotes out there that would be suitable to conclude this post, but I think this video is by far the BEST WAY to.
Enjoy the rest of your week, everyone! And remember: when it gets tough, “You got this!”