Somewhere around mile 13, my friend Sharon asked, “Do you feel strong?”
I gave up on trying to talk with her around mile 10, and when I started using hand signals (thumbs up and down), it reminded me of being in labor with my first daughter and how silent I became. Obviously, the pain and effort of labor is far more difficult than a distance run, but my attitude running yesterday felt similar. To conserve my energy, I replied with one word answers and hand signals only, much like during labor. Running long distance requires shutting most everything out and concentrating only on continuing to move forward.
To her question, “Do you feel strong?” I responded with the tilt of my hand, back and forth.
Sort of. Not really.
I don’t have to feel strong, I only have to be strong.
I felt like stopping. I felt like walking. But I didn’t. I kept running, though at a slower pace, all the way to the finish line.
This is why I run: to show that I can, to show that I am stronger than I think I am (stronger than I feel!), to practice endurance and perseverance.
When I am strong physically, it overflows to other parts of my life. I can recall my physical acts of endurance to empower me to be strong in other areas.
Strength follows strength.
I do the hard things so I can do other hard things.
Training and running makes me strong physically. Physical fitness translates to mental fitness: I am strong enough to lead my company, strong enough to have the tough conversations I’d rather avoid, strong enough to push forward to grow my company and set big goals.
I can run the marathon in 5 weeks; I can write and publish a book in 2015; I can double and triple the capacity of my company to serve more clients and make a bigger difference.
I can. One step at a time, moving forward toward the finish line.
It’s why I run. Strength follows strength.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Wonderful post Becky. “I do the hard things so I can do other hard things.”
Love it! Well said! Can I share with my track team 🙂
Good for you! I have a love/hate relationship with running. It’s the best stress relief I’ve ever found. Even better, I eat like a small farm animal when I am training. My hashtag is #fatoldmencanrun.
It’s the only area of my life where I set goals. I started running when I was 43 and my original goal was to run 10 marathons before I turned 50. I ran number 10 when I was 50. Now that I am 52, I am training for number 11 and my new goal is to be able to run one the year I turn 60.
Keep it up!
Thanks, Bret! I am not setting any running goals beyond this one marathon. I have been running since age 22 and had planned to run a marathon by 30… but then I had a baby instead. It feels good to be finally tackling this goal… intense as it is, at age 42!
Cheering you on from afar! Here’s to your staying fit through your 50s and beyond.
Great Monday morning read as the day starts, and I’m going to steal your phrase Becky, “I do the hard things so I can do other hard things.”
I am sure it is not completely original to me, anyway, Clint! Glad you enjoyed the read!
What are you doing that is hard this week?
I love this article!
“Strength follows strength!”
I just read this for the first time. Look at how much you’ve achieved since you wrote it five years ago. There is no doubt you are motivated and you are a motivator. You live your purpose and therefore pass on many strengths and encouragement to others.