I’m working on a run-training program right now that has challenged me in ways that I thought I could not meet. Surprise (most of all, to me)! I have met those challenges head-on and tackled those sons of bitches.
While I’m running, I often think about my life and my work (and my life’s work: family). Facing that giant hill near the middle of my route, I forget about all that and fall prey to the screaming in my legs and lungs. I almost always feel like stopping or at least slowing down. That’s when I have to pull out all the cliche mantras:
- One step at a time. Just keep moving.
- Yes, you can do this. You can, you must, you will.
- Go harder, faster, stronger.
- Don’t give up now. Never, never, never, never give up.
- Quitting only cheats yourself.
- If it was easy, everyone would do it.
- Nothing worth doing was ever easy.
Once I’m back on level ground and have realized that I have not just survived that hill, but actually kicked its ass without slowing down, my thoughts head back to work, life, family — and I realize that they’re the same as the hill. The challenges in those areas may seem hard — they may seem insurmountable, but they’re not, so long as I keep moving.
Recently, the tables were turned on me. I was working, feeling like giving up on this one particular project, when inside my head I heard the whisper, “You don’t give up. This is just a hill and you will get over it. Keep moving.” I thought of the hill, and how many times I’ve been over it — and how every time was just a matter of one step after another. I thought of the lessons I want my kids to learn from me — do I want them to learn that it’s ok to quit when something just gets a little tough? And I thought of the message I want to send in my business — do I want to be known as someone who shies away from something difficult?
Since then, I’ve been looking for hills. I’m actively seeking them out, even planning a new running route to include more of them. I’ve come to believe firmly that getting over the hills is a practice. Like any muscle, the more you work it, the stronger it gets.
So bring the hills.
I came to run and I’m not stopping. You?