Two and a half years ago running was impossible. I couldn't run to the end of my block without feeling like my lungs were going to burst into flames and my heart was going to explode. Being athletic and active to this day doesn’t come easily to me. I’m still new to the running world. I didn’t run in High School or College and it wasn't until I had to lose the 60+ pounds I gained after my brother passed away that I started making conscious efforts to be physically active for my health. My story isn’t unique. I’ve met hundreds of runners who started running when shit hit the fan or something traumatic happened to them.
What is unique about my story is the time it took me to go from couch to full marathon. Six Months. I started running on Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2012 and I ran my first marathon June 2nd 2013. Ask anyone who knew me, no one would have bet money that I'd ever run a marathon. The day I ran my first half marathon, my best friend Irene asked me if I wanted to do a full. "I'd rather die than run a marathon," I said as I hobbled back to our hotel room. Then for a month, people kept asking me if I was going to run a marathon.
I started thinking about what was stopping me from wanting to run a marathon. Was it because I was afraid of failing? Was it because I was afraid of the pain? Or was it because I was to lazy to try. Honestly, I think it was a combination of the three but I woke up one morning, grabbed my computer and registered for the Rock N' Roll San Diego Marathon before I could talk myself out of it. I wanted to prove myself wrong and I wanted to prove to myself that I could run a marathon, even if I thought it was impossible.
It doesn’t matter how many people believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself you’ll never make impossible possible. I’ve learned a thing or two about pursuing the impossible. Here is what I've learned along the way:
1. You Have To Care…A Lot.
You have to care and you have to care very, very deeply. Your fear and your ego will tell you to down play your goals and pretend like you're not invested. That’s bullshit. You have to be honest with yourself. It’s OK to feel intimidated as long as you care enough to show up and try.
2. You Have To Do The Work.
Here’s what I love about running a marathon, you will not succeed if you don’t do the work. You have to run the miles to train your body and your mind. You can’t bullshit your way to impossible because impossible requires everything you have.
3. You Have To Face Your Fears.
Fear of failure? Fear of rejection? Perhaps you have a fear of embarrassing yourself in front of everyone you know? That isn’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to making impossible possible. Remember this,
NEVER FORGET THAT! You’ll never make impossible possible if you don’t dare to fail. Stop holding yourself back!
4. You Have To Take It One Step At A Time.
Give yourself permission to fail. Give yourself permission to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. You have to focus on what’s possible right now and work your way towards impossible. You have to take it one step at a time. It takes hundreds, maybe even thousands of miles to get to 26.2 right?
5. You Have To Keep Going.
No matter what happens, no matter what speed bumps or hurdles you encounter you cannot quit. It is going to be hard and you will have doubts. I don’t care if you have to start over 10 times, do not give up. Never, never, never give up.
6. You Have To Have Fun.
The journey itself will not be fun. That's why you have to find every possible opportunity to have fun. Just remember that it’s in pain and discomfort that change lives. You will have to make sacrifices, you will have to suffer through some not so fun times and there will be breaking points. But once you break through, you will find your limits and there is nothing more fun and rewarding than pushing your limits and realizing that you are limitless. Find every opportunity to have fun along the way.
I started running as a way to run from my problems. In an ironic twist, running gave me a way to believe in myself. So many people start running because they want to look a certain way instead of wanting to feel a certain way. Do you feel strong and capable? Do you look in the mirror and love what you see because you’ve done everything in your power to be the best you possible? Those are reasons to make impossible possible. Those are reasons to start running. You can survive anything as long you can imagine a finish line right?
Believe in yourself and go make impossible possible. Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.