In 2008 I ran my first 1/2 marathon in Arizona with my brother. It was one of the most emotional days of my life. As a kid I did not participate in sports. Unfortunately, my mom didn't think girls should play sports. I don't remember why I started running or when but it was as an adult probably around 24 years old. When I crossed the finish line I cried. I was overweight, my body hurt and I accomplished something I never thought I could.
9 years later I ran my 4th half marathon in Sarasota, Florida and today I signed up for my 5th. It seems like I should have run more than 4 in the course of 9 years. But a few things have derailed me. Although I have run a number of 10 K's, there is nothing more satisfying than running 13.1 miles. I am very proud every time I cross the finish line.
One thing I know for sure is that running is an individual sport. You have to get out and hit the pavement on good days and bad, you have to stretch and wear knee braces and prepare yourself mentally. You have to pay attention to what you eat before the race and how much you hydrate. It is more than just taking a jog and for one I am thankful for it. If you haven't run 13.1 or 26 miles you may not be aware, but there is a feeling you get. As you place one foot in front of the other and feel your accomplishment with every step. Many call it a runners high. This feeling happens during strenuous exercise as endorphins are released.
When I talk about running, I am not just talking about exercise. Running is the food we put into our bodies, it is the water we drink, it is massages and it's the mental connection. You can replace the word running with tennis, basketball, baseball, football, yoga, volleyball, soccer and on and on. Whatever the sport our bodies thrive when working them and feeding them both mentally and physically.
We know that our mind and our body are in sync with one another. And that we need both in good working order to be at our best. Often times it would be easy to stop at mile 10 and just be pleased that you made it that far. I have injured my knee on a 1/2 marathon in Atlanta, GA. and just kept going because I couldn't imagine not finishing. When I am on the treadmill I always get on with a set time or mile marker, and I always surpass that time. Mentally, I just know I have to.
For me the best part of running is the time to clear my head. And when it comes to a 1/2 marathon it is seeing the finish line knowing that I have accomplished something special. I compete only with myself and my last best personal record (PR). I set goals and work hard to achieve them. Obtaining my goals fills me with purpose and pride.
What is it for you? What goals have you set for yourself and how are you achieving them? What is your finish line?
It is important to set up goals, to know exactly what you want to do and how you are going to do it. It is imperative that they are achievable and that you have a plan. And for me, you need to have a finish line. A place that you can set your measuring tape to - a place you know that you have accomplished what you set out to do. It could be a race, or a graduation, or a weight loss or gain goal. Or possibly a yoga pose that escapes you, like a headstand. It could be a financial goal you've set or a customer gain. It could be any number of things. But knowing what you want and setting up a plan to achieve it takes thought, work and many times courage to make it happen.
Don't stop after you read this blog, really take a moment to consider your goals and how you will meet or exceed them. Consider your deepest desires and start the race, you too may be overwhelmed with pride when you cross the finish line.
Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,