In my case, a marathon. I first had to get over my own hypocrisy- so many times I’ve said I would never, ever run a marathon.
After all, under what circumstance would it possibly make sense to create that amount of discomfort for myself? When would forcing myself to run, an activity I hate, be of benefit to someone seeking a happy, balanced life?
But never did I ever picture a year like 2020. The constant discomfort of uncertainty, COVID and racism and my own personal financial and leadership struggles. As someone who is goal-oriented and success addicted, 2020 dropped me from my faux comfort zone into a lonely abyss.
And ironically, my instinct was to reach not for animal comforts or something to build me up, but for an activity that would be at my most vulnerable and expose more of my weaknesses- training for a marathon.
If I could push through during my training, if I could be uncomfortable as long as it took as consistently as it took, there was hope in the other areas I could do the same. It was and is a competition to see what I can stomach.
A challenge to myself to humbly acknowledge my body’s limits and work within them to get stronger without the hope of ever being one of the best, or maybe not even good. Just better than I was yesterday.
I have natural talents in other sports and am competitive, so this humility piece is one of the hardest parts. But I’ve grown to love that in running, I am sub-par. And even to be sub-par, I have to work my ass off of everyday.
So as I go through the last month of my marathon training, I’m realizing it really did save me. I’ve piled up months of evidence that I could stick with the miserable process, improve, and persevere even when my talent is non existent and hope for success faint.
I’ll see you on the finish line.