Inspiring People to Use Their Gifts for Global Impact

Love & Hate

Revelations of a Marathon Runner in Training

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If they can do it…

I hate running!  I know it sounds a bit silly for someone who is training for a marathon to say that, but it’s true.  I really don’t like it.  The sweating, the heavy breathing, the burning legs and lungs…  It just isn’t pleasant!  It’s one of those activities that people participate in, and other people ask them the question “Why?  Why bother?”

I laughed the other day when I saw the image on Facebook that showed a bumper sticker with “0.0” on it, and then underneath it said “I don’t run.”  I would say that used to be me.  I would ask the question “Why bother?”  I would see people on a treadmill and think, “You know, back in the day, people would work on their farms and work in the fields to make a living and survive.  That was their exercise.  You never saw overweight farmers or construction workers.  Now, we’ve made life so easy for ourselves that we have to create physical work to do that really accomplishes nothing! :)

I know it’s an odd thought, but I would think those kinds of things when I saw people running.  You start in one spot … run around for a bit, and end up back in the same spot.  What’s the point?!

Well, I’ve started to discover a few “points” as I’ve begun this lovely experience called marathon training.  Now, you might be wondering why in the world I would sign up for a marathon when I hate running.  I wonder the same thing as I’m out on the road!  Here’s the reason…

This past year, many people ran the Glass City Marathon.  After the race, I saw pictures of people crossing the finish line, looking a little rough, but they made it!  I was proud of them.  Even though I didn’t really know them, I was proud of them.  Then, I began to think … “If they can do it … I can do it!”  I know we hear that phrase a lot, and I think it gets us into trouble sometimes!  However, I also think that phrase gets us off our rear end and challenges us to do things we never thought we could do before.

So, here I am.  I decided that I can do it.  I might be wrong about that, but I think we underestimate the power of our own beliefs.  If you had asked me a year or two ago if I could run a marathon, I would have told you “Heck no!  I can barely run three miles!”  The truth is I could not have run a marathon then.  Why?  Because I didn’t believe I could.

Now, this all might be a little premature since I haven’t actually run further than 15 miles at one time, but I believe that my belief is the key to my success.  We’ve probably all seen The Biggest Loser at one point or another.  If you had asked those contestants a year prior if they could lose over 100 pounds they would have laughed in your face as they were eating a whole pizza or scraping the bottom of a bucket of ice cream (I’ve done that a few times). :)  So, what’s the difference?

It’s that little voice in their head, not the creepy weird voices, but the little voice that says, “You know what?  Maybe I can be different.  Maybe I can do that.  Maybe it is possible.”  It sounds simple and silly, but it’s amazingly powerful.  The best part is that after you take a few steps toward your new goal and see some progress, the voice gets louder.  You start to hear yourself saying, “I AM doing this!  I WILL finish.  I WON’T quit!  It’s in me to do this thing.”  Now, if you’re yelling those phrases in the middle of a gym or in the middle of the Haagen Dazs ice cream isle, people might start to stare.  However, it’s a powerful thing to do!

So, my point in all of this is that we can do more than we think we can.  Well, actually, that’s not true.  We can ONLY do what we think we can.  I’ve changed my mind about me, and I believe I CAN run a marathon.  Yikes!  It’s still a bit weird for me to say that, but if you repeat something long enough, you really do start to believe it.

What’s your “I can…”?  What is that one thing you always said you could NEVER do?  What have you seen other people do and thought, “If they can do it, I can do it.”?

So do it. :)  Do what you have never done.  Be who you never thought you could be.  You’ve got one chance.  YOLO, right?  You won’t regret it.  Even if you fail.  Even if I drag myself across the finish line bleeding and half alive, I’m going to say “I did it!”  Don’t miss out on the opportunity to say that with a huge smile on your face.  You’ll look back over your life and be glad you did.

Many people have said, “It’s not the things you did that you’ll look back and regret, it’s the things that you didn’t do.”

So, what’s your thing?  Move towards it today.  Even if it’s a tiny step.  Even if it’s just listening to that little voice that’s saying, “It’s in you.”  Your tomorrow will be better because you did! :)

 

Feel free to follow me on my running journey!  I plan to post “Running Revelations” after some of my runs.  Please post comments about your own journey as well! :)


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