Don't be afraid to fail, be brave enough to try
~Shelby Schmidt (me!)
I’ve never been one to set big goals. I let fear get in my way a lot and would look too far into the future and talk myself out of things. Sometimes I had valid reasons and other times I would overthink to make my reasons valid. Not to say all the goals would have been stellar if they actually worked out, but I didn’t even toe the line and try in most cases.
When I was finishing High School (another post for another day) I got accepted to study fashion design at a college about an hour south from where I lived. It was exciting and I thought I would love it. But then I went down my usual practical road that if I decided after 5 years I didn’t enjoy it then my degree would be useless. I also partially convinced myself I wasn’t the right fit for the fashion world. I wasn’t flawless, skinny or a great drawer. I decided to forgo that path and go to my local community college to do my base classes until I figured out what I wanted to do career wise. It seemed logical, responsible, and overall SAFE.
Not that being safe is a bad thing…but it can quickly become a crutch to not take chances.
After working retail for a while I fell into an industry my family had been in for over 30 years. I was excellent at my job, but I hated it. It took a pandemic, extreme stress and exhaustion to finally force myself to realize that I needed to course correct. The only thing that brought me joy was running. Anything to do with running. Talking about running, actually running, helping other with running, ANYTHING. I had been on the waiting list with the RRCA to get into one of their certification courses for a while and just wanted so badly to take a step forward into something I was passionate about.
That’s honestly why I started Running & Schmidt. I had played with the idea for so long but was always afraid to start it out of fear of not being taken seriously. I fell into the trap that so many of us work hard to push up against. I’m not that fast, I don’t look like a runner, what if no one reads my posts, what if I don’t succeed??? So many thoughts, all negative and a complete waste of my time.
And then for a moment I thought, “But what if it works?” What if I can actually do this?” “What if I actually can take my love of running and make it something more?”
I’m hoping some big things in the works will come to fruition but even they don’t I’m not going to stop trying. I want to help more athletes. I want to help others on their running journeys while also working on my own. I’m not afraid to share my big goals: personal, professional and just some fun ones!
10k followers on Instagram
Holding onto the dream of getting an OTQ by 2028
Announcing a live race
Breaking the tape at a race of my own
Watching the Olympics live
Reviewing and introducing one new up and coming brand a month
Making the running community stronger, more inclusive and overall more tangible.
None of this will happen over night and some may not even happen at all. But I also never thought I’d be a running at all….and see how that went.
So I challenge you---What chances can you take?
Signing up for a race that's a distance that you've never done
Trying a speed workout that seems SUPER tough
Asking a friend to go running even if they may say no
Shooting for a PR that excites you
Doing a new workout or signing up for a gym membership even if your intimidated
Even things not running related:
Putting yourself first and saying no
Asking for the raise or an extra day off
Starting a side business that you love
Sharing your art that you have been working on
Whatever resonates with you: Take the chance, don't be terrified---Be brave enough to try!
Every day all we can do is our best. (Almost) Everything happens for a reason, even if we don't know it at the time. I can look back now and be thankful that the fashion portion didn't work out, that I decided to switch careers, and that life didn't go exactly how I planned. If those things had worked out I wouldn't be where I am at having the family, love I have or the career I'm building. Sure I can wish some other things worked out (like a winning lottery ticket would've been nice) but ultimately I am happy with where I'm at and where I'm going.....Schmidt and all ;)