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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Running a marathon and living life are one in the same...

Its true no matter how much you may want to deny it. Life, and getting things done in life really mirrors marathon running.

Look at it like this. Just as race day is starting, so too is your journey.  You and everyone else embarking on the same journey are gathered together in one place, excitedly making last minute preparations before you make your way to the staging area- the last place you will wait.

The gun goes off and you jockey to find a comfortable place and stride.  People on the sidewalks are cheering for you encouraging you as you begin the journey you have prepared for over that last few months.

One by one the miles pass.  Your smile and stride are as strong as they were when you began.  You rejoice in the beauty of the rising sun, the birds chirping, the smell of freshly cut grass.  Drinking in all that surrounds you.

Sure there are still people cheering, although fewer than at the start. 

The sun starts to rise and so does the temperature.  You douse yourself with water in an attempt to stay cool.  On your journey things start to get a bit more challenging, there are fewer people cheering for you and you begin to feel as if you are on your own on this journey.

Miles are still going by, but instead of seeing the beauty around you you are wishing and hoping for some cool breeze, someone to cheer for you, a friendly face to help you along….something, anything.

You are more than halfway there and your pace slows as it sometimes does.  You feel as if you are walking.  You do your best to assure yourself that no matter what you are still moving forward, toward your goal.  It doesn’t matter if no one is there to see it, it is still happening.

Slower, and slower the miles seem to pass.  At this point you are using the walk run method.. at times progress seems good, and then all of a sudden it comes to a sloooooow walk.  You are starting to get frustrated “how come I can’t just keep running?” you aren’t really sure why but you can’t.  You do your best to reassure yourself that any forward progress will eventually bring you to your goal- the finish line.

You put your head down and focus, one step then the next then the next…

Before you know it you see the crowd building- you must be nearing the finish line.  Louder and louder they cheer.  You ignore your pain and press on as fast as you can.  You cross the finish line and immediately fall into the arms of your awaiting friends.

Yep that’s how it works.  In the beginning of our journey we are excited, raring to go, met with all kids of support and fanfare even from people we hardly know. 

It seems as if you are just flying along well on your way and suddenly you find yourself with sweat in your eyes.  Having gone from noticing all that is beautiful around you to wishing you were anywhere but where you were yet you still must press on.  There is no stopping in the middle.  You started the journey and there is no escape from the path until you reach the end….the finish line…..your goal.

It gets quiet and at times it seems as if you are barely making progress.  Every once in a while you hear someone cheering for you, but it is pretty much just you.. pressing onward as you keep the finish line in your mind. 

No doubt as you get closer to completing your task the crowd starts to cheer louder- they can see how close you are.  They want you to finish too.

You cross the finish line celebrating with your closest friends. 
You spend a few minutes, hours or even days replaying the events that brought you to where you are.  “Would have’, ‘could have’, ‘should have’, and ‘did’ are all things that you rehash. 

Then before you know it you are planning your next adventure knowing that no matter what, this is how it will play out:

Excitement and fanfare in the beginning gives way to solitude; gutting it out and praying that one foot lands in front of the other over and over and over until the finish line is in sight.  Only then does the excitement and relief return.

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