What Really Matters

I was going to send out a wrap-up email about what I learned from No Excuses November this month. I would have included my trials and tribulations peppered with funny anecdotes and Allison-style self-deprecation.

But last week, I read something that made me change my mind.

One of our NoExNos Ashley shared this via Facebook status update:

November 30th. Today marks the day that I have not had a single alcoholic beverage the whole month of November (I didn’t even give in on Thanksgiving when I really really wanted a glass of wine!). As of today, I am down 5 pounds! (I have a lot more to go to reach my goal…but I’m pretty happy with 5 for now) I am going to continue working out… and if I do drink, I will limit myself to only drinking on special occasions. 
 
I am so thankful for Mahdis G for introducing me to my new friend Allison Baker. Without her telling me and Jami about NoExNo that we participated in, I don’t know when I ever would have started this path to a new me! 
 

Today I am happy. I feel good and I am looking forward to continue pushing myself to be a better me. Raising my cup of coffee for a toast– To No Excuses November! 

 

As much as NoExNo started out as a way for me to force myself to write, I now understand that it had a much greater impact. For me, seeing this status update changed the way I viewed my NoExNo success. Yes, I was happy that I made my word count, but seeing how NoExNo encouraged Ashley to change the course of her life (she also quit smoking, which she didn’t include in her post) is incredibly humbling and moving.

It doesn’t matter if anyone or no one met their goals this month. Even if you simply signed up for the emails and did nothing after that, know that you were still a big piece of what happened this month. People were encouraged. People were motivated. People were changed.

What a beautiful journey this has been with all of you. And I mean ALL of you.

I hope you learned something about yourself this month. I hope you endeavored to do something you didn’t think you could do, even if you didn’t end up doing it. You are brave for even entertaining the idea of accomplishing something this November. I hope that you will continue to make and achieve your goals into the new year (and BEYOND).

The one where I talk about running a marathon.

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?