Lessons Learned Across 26.2

Nothing can quite prepare you for the challenges that life has to offer. Whether we choose them or not, there are always going to be obstacles that we must overcome in times of struggle, where we find out what we are really made of at our core.

I chose to sign up for my marathon, because I wanted to put myself in that situation. My goal was never to be the fastest, never to qualify for any other particular race, and never to worry about what everyone else around me was doing.

My goal in doing this marathon was to prove to myself that I could do it. Shockingly enough, a few years ago, you could find me being one of those people to say “I would never run a marathon”. And yet, here we are today. Somewhere along the way something inside me changed. I decided that instead of turning away from something that scared me, something that made me nervous, and something that I could find challenge in, it would actually be good for me to lean in and try it.

I didn’t just go zero to marathon, I eased myself into running by starting off walk/running as a form of exercise, and then built up to running 5K, and then tried 10K, and then I challenge myself to a half marathon, and then I did it again, and again until I needed to find the next challenge.

The marathon is a beast and for someone who said they would never do one I could see why people truly feel that way. Running that distance,  broke me down to my core, and made me really look at myself and dig deep. There were times where I feel like I would not be able to take another step, there were times, where I really didn’t know if I would make it the full distance, there were times where I literally had to out loud coach myself through just taking the steps towards the next mile.

In the moment, I just did what I had to do to finish the race and make it to the finish line. But looking back along the course of those 26.2 miles I challenged myself and came out the other side, a stronger, more capable, more resilient person.

One thing that I continuously repeated to myself, especially towards the end, when I did not want to carry-on, was “you don’t do these things because they are easy you do these things because they make you better“.

I’ve never found anything to be more true in my entire life. Doing things because they’re easy leave us stagnant. It does not put us in a position to grow or be any better than we already are. When you put yourself in the position to make yourself better, you will inevitably rise up to the challenge in someway shape or form. Whether it’s the day-to-day struggle of just getting in the gym door, or a larger feat, that you are trying to accomplish, every time we put ourselves in that position, it counts towards making us better.

Yes the experience I went through was raw, it was harder than I could have anticipated, and it seemed near impossible to me 3 years ago. But if you’re reading this, know that you could do it. Whatever challenge you choose, if you set out with the right intentions and put in the work, there’s no reason we can’t all rise above what we once thought we were capable of, and surpass those expectation. All we have to do is try.