After running my first marathon last Sunday, crossing the finish line was surreal; however, the greater feeling was knowing all the support I had from other people. After the race I had so many people tell me how proud they were of me, but what really blew me away was all the people who later told me that I inspired them to run a marathon or just start running in general. Let me tell ya, that is what keeps me going on days when I don't feel like running.
When people heard that I was training for a marathon, 96.5% of the people said "Wow, I could never do that." No, you just think you can't. To tell you the truth, I didn't think I ever could run a marathon either. It just seemed like an impossible goal I would save for "someday". I didn't even know that a half marathon was in the picture. With just a
little lot of training, heart, and dedication you- yes you!- can run a marathon. Because after all,
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." (Lao-tzu)
No matter what your goals in life, you have to start somewhere and sometimes you have to do the things that scare you the most. Let me tell you, I was completely terrified to run my marathon. I thought it was more realistic that I'd be passed out somewhere in a ditch than actually cross the finish line. Before I started training, I had only run probably 7 miles for my farthest run. I was always a sprinter, but suddenly I found myself running 17 miles. How did this happen?! Yes, there were days when I wished I didn't have to run but I knew that in the end it would all pay off- and it 100% did. For me that single step was setting a goal for myself. Pretty soon one step turned into one mile, and one mile turned into 26.2. In the words of Drake- "started from the bottom now we're here."
You could say I've always been a very competitive person, but that'd be an understatement. In soccer and lacrosse, I wanted to be the fastest, strongest, most talented girl out there. If we didn't win, I'd get pretty upset knowing that we weren't the best. Now that I wasn't in sports in college I needed to find a way to channel that competitiveness into something. I tried being competitive in school but that wasn't the same. I realized I better stick to what I love-- running. When it got to the longer runs, I remember getting mad at myself, thinking that I was stupid to think that I could run a marathon. I wanted to stop so many times, but something in me couldn't do it. I remember my coaches in high school always telling me to "use your head"- that the smartest players often come out on top. And now that finally made sense. Running is almost all in your head.
"Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right." (Henry Ford)
It's all about the 'tude. I know this sounds so cliche but you can do it! Whatever your goal may be, always remember that you can (and will!) push yourself a little farther. You'd be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you do. Another quote that really gets me going is
"Your mind gives up before your legs do."
You can do so much more than you've ever imagined. I'm living proof. And believe me, I am no different than you. It's not can you- It's will you?
So go out there and show 'em who's boss! And remember that just because someone else did something, doesn't mean you have to accomplish the same thing.
"Don't measure yourself against someone else's standards, because who knows? Maybe they're too low for you anyway"
"The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday."
Do something today that you will be proud of tomorrow. Pretty soon all those simple steps will turn into a thousand miles.