Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Life Lessons from a 50k

In November, I ran my first 50k. Throughout the training I was taught a lot of valuable lessons which can be applied to everyone even if you don't run. Have you trained or worked for something that required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears? Started your own business? Are you just trying to make it day to day? Then this blog post applies to you as well.


Courage

Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Great things happen when we step outside our comfort zone. Having the courage to set and try to accomplish something crazy such as running a 50k, allowed me to grow as a person in so many ways. By having courage, we can learn a lot about ourselves and what we are actually capable of. Are we limiting our potential because of the fear of failure, or not being able to see things through when times gets hard. Are we looking at the amount of time and work we may have to put into something and it seems impossible or difficult so we often times throw in the towel.

Determination

Determination can take us far in life,  vowing that no matter what,  we will accomplish what we set out to do. That yes, there will be road blocks and obstacles to overcome. It may take time but we will see it through. We are resolved to run the race set before us. Training for an ultra takes a lot of determination. When others were out spending their afternoons doing something fun and my weekends were filled with long runs, determination got me through. And it was all worth it in the long run.

Perseverance

Perseverance and determination go hand in hand. You can't really have one without the other. Times will get tough. You will run out of energy or be completely exhausted. Training was long. Back to back long runs were sometimes difficult. My body was tired, and sore, but I kept on hitting the trails. Sometimes, I wanted so bad to just sleep in and I craved my Sunday afternoon naps. My feet hurt. During the race when both knees started hurting  and it was hard to run,  I could have not finished. And I am sure nobody would have blamed me.  But I was determined to perserver, so I took each step at a time. I may have slowed down in order to do so, but I still made progress towards the finish line. And that is true in life too. No matter how slow we have to go, or when we just have to just take it day by day, forward motion is movement. Progress is progress.

Life is sometimes more of a mental game than anything else. When we let our mental capacity become clouded with doubts, we start believing them. I remember the 18 mile run that I did where everything was going wrong.  The camel pack was too hot and heavy. It chaffed and moved around too much. My music wasn't working and the Spotify app wouldn't load. We were not running in the trails at that time, so I was not distracted by beautiful scenery. I had discarded the pack after about mile 4 or 5 with Amber's niece. I had no back up water. It was hot, I was thirsty, and the sun was beating down on us. Those next  13-14 miles where filled with negative thoughts, and self doubt. Every little problem was amplified because I had nothing to distract myself from me. But I kept going. I wanted to quit, I wanted to throw in the towel. What was I thinking? Who do I think I am?

Isn't that a lot like life? Maybe your health or fitness journey? Have you ever wanted to throw in the towel? Give up on a dream or a career? Have you ever lost faith or blamed God? Friends, we have all been there before. Falling down is not failure if we get back up. Baby steps are still steps in the right direecton. Discouragement will come and there may be days where we just throw our hands up.

Remember, life is like training for an ultra not a sprint. It doesn't matter how long it takes you, just keep your eyes on the finish line.


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