We’ve all heard the expression “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”
Well, here I am having just finished two marathons in two weeks and I can’t help but think not about the marathon itself, not the sprint to the finish, but the TRAINING.
The races are just mere celebrations. Celebrations of the work and sacrifices I made to complete this goal. Missed nights out with friends, lonely miles, sore legs, early wake up calls...
...a lot of time spent doing nothing but running...upwards of three, four hours some days. There’s not much else to do but, push your feet forward and think about everything from politics, to past relationships, to food, to regrets and triumphs. I’ve even spent miles thinking about the names of my future dogs. A lot of thinking, not a lot of room for acting. For someone who’s future still isn’t set in stone, someone who lays awake some nights anxious about what’s to come (or lack of what’s to come), someone who struggles with stillness; no action is a scary thing. But here’s the thing...
Running is the action.
Running is the thing that has forced me to think outside of my comfort zone, to see the world around me, to set a game plan for my life.
Running is the springboard to a productive hour, day, month and year.
When I’m running, I see people rushing to work, going to school, walking their dogs, carrying shopping bags, pushing baby carriages, sitting on park benches, and sometimes even no one at all.
All these things really made me question the big picture: how can so many different people with so many different priorities be right?
Are the things we place the most value on truely most important?
I have no idea.
So I keep running.
I run past trees in the middle of winter with no leaves on them, everything is grey and sad. So I craved the summer when everything was green and full of life. I had to ask myself did I take the time to appreciate that? Seasons are a little reminder that nothing lasts forever. Pain doesn’t last forever. Bad runs end.
Still no answers to any of my life's questions, insecurities and doubts. But I still ran.
And then it happened, as I ran through the streets of Chicago, looking at the skyline full of tens of thousands of people; I realized to know everything, to even pretend to know everything…
...to know that you’ll get that promotion
...to know that you’ll get into grad school
...to know that you’ll meet the right person
...to know that you’ll make enough money
...to know that you’ll be happy
That’s all wrong.
That’s not what it’s about.
It’s about progress. It’s about learning a little bit at each step of the way. Never allowing yourself to be stuck or closed minded in a way that inhibits change or growth.
Life. Is. A. Marathon.
It’s not a sprint. You don’t win your first mile, you win by trusting in your ability to figure things out as they come. To evolve, to adapt, and above all to believe that something may not be happening right now in the present it can and it will be done. The finish line isn’t there two or three miles in, you can’t see it. And if you’re moving off of solely what can be seen or guaranteed, you won’t get there. But if you trust that each step you take is one piece of something far greater, something that you deserve, something that was meant for you, then the sky’s the limit.