For years, I always wanted to be a runner. The sweat, the adrenaline, the strength and endurance. Watching real runners in their element is amazing, and for years I sat on the sidelines and just admired. Sure, I made the classic “Girls Who Run” Pinterest board and bought some new Nikes. I downloaded the “Couch to 5K” app and gave it a day or two. But I never became a runner. I never reached any goals or ran any 5K’s.
Why? Why did I, a girl with all of the interest in the world, all of the equipment necessary, and all of the passion needed to be a runner, never become a runner? Through the years I’ve figured out why, and it’s pretty profound.
Are you ready??
It’s hard to become a runner. It’s hard to train your body to run mile after mile. More times than not, I wouldn’t feel like hurting and aching and sweating and so I just wouldn’t. When the going got hard, I would stop and decide that maybe I wasn’t so interested in running after all. I would decide to ignore the fact that I really wanted to run, and I wouldn’t run. Why? Because it was hard.
How often do we do that?
We know what we dream of doing, we know what it would take to do it, and then we… well, don’t do it. Maybe you dream of becoming a writer, or traveling internationally, or picking up tennis. Maybe you’re sitting in a cafe listening to local artists, and you have a notebook of original songs in your backpack, just waiting to be played. Or you have always wanted to be a teacher, or read through the unabridged version of “Les Miserables”, or audition for a play.
Let me ask you something: If you don’t take the risk and do the difficult, who is going to do it for you? If you don’t write the novel inside of your head, who is going to read it? If you don’t play the songs in your notebook, who is going to hear them? If you never buy the plane ticket, how are you getting to Europe? And if you don’t run, especially when it’s hard, how are you ever going to become a runner?
The equation is child’s play, so why is it that we constantly miscalculate?
This last January, I decided to challenge myself to jog a slow 1/4 mile a couple of days a week. I hated it at first. It hurt, I was bad at it, and it was… hard. My legs, supported by a nice pair of Nikes, would burn and my breathing would be rapid after a couple of laps around the track. But I didn’t stop. Soon I was running half a mile, and then a whole mile, and in April I ran past the finish line in my first 5K.
Running 3 miles is small to some, but not to me. I did it. And friends, you can too.
As you read this, what’s your dream?
Are you thinking about it yet?
Great! Stop making Pinterest boards about it, and start doing it.
Who knows? Maybe you’re a runner after all.