I will never forget the feeling of my first half marathon. I remember standing at the starting line minutes before the race was about to start, almost in tears from anxiety about what was before me. This was last January. Just a month prior to the race, I had severely rolled my ankle. It was bruised from my pinkie toe to my heel and all around my foot. My ankle was about the size of a tennis ball. I couldn’t walk on it for two days and wasn’t able to run for three weeks. The weekend before race day, I put in a 10.5 mile run with my running partner Stephanie at which time I was verging on puking, pooping and crying all at the same time (TMI???). There was no way. NO WAY I was going to be able to run 13.1 miles in a week.
Race day arrived, I had a professional grade brace on my foot and mentally prepared for the fact that I might have to walk some of it.
We ran the whole thing. Finished the race in 2 hours, 15 minutes and 59 seconds.
By now, you’re wondering why I’m writing about my running journey. Call it inspiration from some of my customers. I’ve talked to a lot of our BAZAAR vendors over the past week about their personal anxiety over selling in a public forum. “What if my stuff isn’t good enough?” “What if nothing sells?” “What if I don’t have enough stuff?” I see a parallel between my running journey over the past year to the painting journey of some vendors.
Every artist starts with their first piece. Every runner starts with their first mile.
My husband and I started running 5k’s a little over a year ago. We did our first one together in about 45 minutes. Mainly because there were so many people that the course bottle necked all over the place and we were forced to walk.
We ran three subsequent 5k’s over the course of the next six months.
Then I started running more consistently with my neighbor and dear friend Stephanie. I won’t ever forget the first time she said, “let’s run four miles today.” Madness I tell ya!
We ran our first half marathon in January and immediately signed up for another one so that we would stay on a consistent fitness tract.
Destination San Luis Obispo. Rolling hills and beautiful vineyards.
Our 2nd half marathon was last weekend.
My cousin, Kelly signed up for the race with us and we were killing time taking selfies at 5 am.
Stephanie and I trained for this race. We did progression runs for three months, established hilly courses around town to strengthen our hill running and even managed some strength training. The goal was to best our first race time. I didn’t think we would do it. This was a much harder course. And, I rolled my ankle…twice the week prior to the race.
We finished in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 10 seconds, besting our time by over five minutes!
Hosting the BAZAAR has provided me a unique opportunity to talk to many people about their artistic journey; the reservations some of them have about putting their work on public display. Just as one doesn’t decide to run a marathon without training, one doesn’t just start selling in a 10×20 booth at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet, or open a retail shop having never sold an item. It all starts with that first finished piece…that first sale…that first mile and that first race. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge and take a risk and “go for it!”
The April BAZAAR was overwhelmingly rewarding for me as I witnessed first hand individuals who didn’t think they had what it would take set up a great booth and others who have grown their home based businesses ten fold since our last BAZAAR. I observed success, both mental and financial in a short eight hours during the event. Some of these individuals started a year ago with nothing more than a single painting workshop or a simple vision for their business.
It’s not that different from my running journey. It started with a pain-staking mile, worked up to 3.2, ran faster for 4, experienced set backs from injuries or busy schedules over the months in between, yet perservered despite my reservations to finish 13.1.
(And, for the record, I will not be running a full marathon…ever…ever, ever. Remind me of this if I ever say, “I’m gonna run a marathon.”)
So, maybe it’s time for you to take the plunge and put your work on public display. If it’s too late for May, we still have the June BAZAAR! It just might be the perfect place to test the waters and improve for next year’s spring event.