As many of you know, I am endeavoring to run a marathon this Sunday. This was never something I wanted to do. A few years ago, I thought a half marathon was crazy. And here I am, about to run farther than I ever have before.
I have never been an athlete. I played sports growing up (soccer, volleyball, tennis) but I did them very poorly. In fact, my freshman volleyball coach actually told me that she wished she had made cuts the year I played. I was genuinely terrible.
So running was something I always fell back on to keep in shape, largely because it took the least amount of coordination. But I never really liked it. Even two years ago, when I trained and finished my first half marathon, the only runner’s high I ever experienced was in being elated just to have stopped running.
More recently, there was a time in my life that I felt stalled, like I wasn’t moving forward. I lived with my parents, wasn’t pleased with my career, my relationship status and a multitude of other things. I was unhappy. But I started running in response to my dissatisfaction, because sometimes it was the only thing that made me feel better.
And that’s when I first understood the concept of a runner’s high.
After that, running became a metaphor in my life for moving forward. Even when I felt like my life wasn’t going anywhere, running helped me propel myself forward. Literally.
I’m not running 26.2 miles this weekend to lose weight or to beat the clock. I am running a marathon because it was something I never thought I would do. More specifically, something I never could do.
Through running, I found that it was possible for me to do things I previously thought were impossible. I could get faster. I could run farther. I could be stronger.
I was never an athlete, and won’t ever be. But I now have the mentality of an athlete.
For me, running is a constant reminder that I can always get better. At anything.
Running is just a quantitative reminder that success is possible.
How are you choosing to move forward?