Monday, August 30, 2010

Force of Will

I ran 18 miles on Saturday (18.18, if you want to get technical), and it was unbelievable. I won't bore you all with yet another blow-by-blow run report, but let me just say it was a one in a million run. There was no walking, my legs felt a-mazing, my splits were back to normal, and I wasn't even tired until the last mile. And, I went out just hoping not to end up with a bloody knee again!

While I was running, I had plenty of time to think...back to about a year and a half ago when I first started running, how difficult even short treks were then, and how much endurance I've built.  If anything, the experience of running and training for long distance races has taught me about the power of, well, willpower. I've come to believe that (barring devastating disability or disease...and sometimes even then) you can train your mind and body to do almost anything with enough determination and patience. Most of the non-runners who find out about my marathon goal will say something to the effect of "there's no way I could do that." And, I tell them, sure you could, if you really wanted to. Most people don't really want to run a marathon (which is totally fine and understandable--do whatever activity floats your boat). But the point is, you have far more potential than you give yourself credit for. Trust me, the former non-runner who will rock her first marathon in 5 weeks.

Like I've said before, achieving your goal takes determination and sacrifice. Nothing worth having is free, right? But, for every ounce of effort and sacrifice I've put into my goal, I've gotten back more in the form of confidence in what I'm capable of. The following apply specifically to things I've learned while getting healthy and then in training, but I've found I now believe them to be true in other parts of my life, too:

  • I'm not so stuck in my ways that I can't make drastic positive changes in the way I live.
  • I'm much stronger than I think I am.
  • I can keep going even when my mind says I want to quit or not start at all.
  • I'm no longer intimidated by the enormity of my end goal--all I have to do is what's required right now, this minute.
  • If I genuinely want something, I'll do whatever it takes to get there.
I won't get into cheerleader mode on you, but I think those 5 bullets apply to pretty much everyone. There's nothing you can't accomplish, health and fitness related goals or otherwise, if you decide that's want you want for your life. Give yourself the chance to surprise yourself--b/c I guarantee you, you will!

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