After a month of consistently running three times a week--even while out of town for training, I hit a brick wall. I have not run--or even been to the gym--in more than two weeks. The week after training was just very busy--and I covered on-call for a co-worker a couple of nights. The following week I was on call.
Habits take time to develop, and they take no time to fade away. I have a half marathon to train for. I have got to make time to run. I started thinking about why I run.
- I run because I can. For most of my life I believed I was too fat or too slow to run. I now know I can run. And so many people cannot. So I run.
- I run because it helped me lose a lot of weight. Running was one of the activities--along with walking and Zumba--that has helped me lose 120 pound.
- I run because it gives me a sense of accomplishment. Crossing the finish line after a 5K or a 10K reminds me that I can whatever I put my mind to.
- I run because it helps me clear my mind. When I run I don't worry about bills or work or my kids. I just run. I focus on the next step.
This morning I received an announcement about a new book from an author I had never heard of: Karianne Wood of Thistlewood Farms. It looked interesting, so I followed the link. WOW! Her words spoke to me. She was discussing how difficult it was to start writing her book. But it resonated with my journey to lose half my body weight. It has not been easy, and, honestly, I often doubted I could do it. But now I look back and see how far I've come. It is especially poignant since I'm training to run the Yosemite Half Marathon--in the mountains. Here is how Karianne explained it.
When I first started thinking about the book and planning for the book and hoping and dreaming about the book it was like standing at the bottom and looking up a giant mountain. I looked up at the crevices and steep cliffs and layers of sedimentary rock and sharp jagged outcroppings….
….and thought I’ll never make it.
(total aside: can you tell my father was a geologist?)
I can’t climb a mountain.
I can’t scale those heights.
I can’t find a foothold.
I wanted to dive back into bed and pull the covers over my head and go all ostrich on myself and my book dreams.
I took a step—a tiny, tentative, minuscule step up the mountain. I remember that first step. It didn’t feel like much. It felt like I was still standing on the ground. It didn’t feel overwhelming. It didn’t feel scary.
So I took another step. And another. And another.
Until I looked down.AND REALIZED I HAD CLIMBED THE MOUNTAIN.
That’s the thing about mountains.
That’s the thing about dreams.
That’s the thing about journeys….
….they all begin with one tiny step.