What Marathon Are You Running?

“…In short, running is a battle not against competition, but rather, against yourself. It’s an extremely personal experience. It’s a war against your own mind and body. It’s a test of wills. Who will be triumphant? The bruised feet, the heavily beating heart, and the chaffed nipples, or a person who was able to overcome himself to achieve something great?…” – Spoken by yours truly on January 4, 2012.

As 2012 began, I was looking for a new project to take on. Because, you know, running a business, surviving as a new homeowner, and dare I say, “living”, just wasn’t quite enough. No, I needed something big. Something challenging. Something that seemed nearly impossible.

So I signed up for a marathon. 26.2 miles. With a little under 5 months to get my body, and maybe more importantly my mind in a place where I could take on one of the biggest challenges of my life.

And now, here I am, 5 days away from the big day. Thinking this is as ready as I’ll ever be to face this challenge. Feeling incredibly nervous and scared, but honestly, wildly excited.

Something happened to me during this training process. Something “clicked”. I knew I was doing something that mattered when I started to feel guilty when I’d miss a run. When I deferred from my training schedule. When I didn’t make time. 

You see, my “action” of running became habit. Running represented more than putting feet to pavement. It became a shift in lifestyle, a conquering of will, a throwing away of “should” and an embracing of “can”.

It’s arduous, demanding, not to mention time-consuming to put a goal of running a marathon out on the table – but totally worth it. It’s rewarding and refreshing to have this kind of personal dream, goal, and commitment in my life.

We all need to run a marathon, metaphorically speaking.

  • Maybe your marathon is opening a savings account for that dream business you’ve been waiting to launch.
  • Maybe your marathon is starting a movement to raise awareness for a cause that really matters to you.
  • Maybe your marathon is embracing your own faith beliefs, not those you’ve been told are correct.
  • Or maybe your marathon is a marathon. Training your mind and body to overcome the impossible. Turning action into habit. “No” into “Hell yes!”

The best part? As soon as you’ve made the decision to run you “marathon”, you’ve already won. That arduous and overwhelming first step is what separates people who think, from people who do. 

I haven’t crossed the finish line (here’s to hoping I do on Saturday), but my race has already been won. Because really, as most things in life, this has been about the journey, not the destination.

What marathon are you running?

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