‘Tis the season! Being just a few weeks before Christmas and after Thanksgiving, I can’t help but fixate on giving thanks. The word play is killing me – my ego that is.
After training for and running the Philadelphia half marathon I came to three realizations: 1. I could finish 2. I want to run a full marathon 3. When left to run for long periods of time I was struck by how often my mental state went negative when the running got difficult.
Life is just a series of hills and plateaus. Without the challenges we’d grow complacent. Challenges give us the opportunity to transform – the only way to overcome a challenge is to go through it and within that journey is a personal transformation.
I was deeply inspired by the amount of people out in the streets cheering – mostly for the folk running the full marathon, but hey I’ll take it. With our names pinned to our shirts, I got a few personal cheers. And let me tell you – those cheers from perfect strangers meant the world. I never knew just how powerful encouragement was until that run. With that giving, I was eternally gratefully, and the running became about something outside myself.
When my mind went into bitching mode with an approaching hill, I caught myself and remembered gratitude – for beautiful weather, for enthusiastic cheers, and for my fiancé who pushed me into this new long-distance-running-territory. My exhaustion and nagging mind fell to the wayside as I let my mental activity quite, and the presence of the moment inspire each stride with gratitude.
With every journey there are challenges, but gratitude’s the sip of inspiration that can help us get to the view on the other side.