I ran more than 10 miles. In fact, I ran 11.2.
The swearing was because, nine years ago, I ran a 10 mile road race and hurt myself so badly that I couldn’t walk, let alone run, for several weeks.
But this morning, I ran and I ran and I ran. Nothing hurt, though it was so muggy it was hard to get a full breath, you know, the kind that catches deep in your lungs.
A few things we can deduce from the above: 1) clearly I hold grudges and I’m stubborn as hell about letting them go, when usually I’m the only one being hurt by them; 2) never say never—you just end up with egg on your face.
Running that far (or doing whatever your equivalent of running that far is) is as much a mental test as it is a physical one. I got through my run by balancing the fact that I could stop at any point, with my desire to reach my goal, with my pride, with my fierce competitiveness and with my insistence on winning.
I knew exactly where the 10 mile point would be, and told myself I could stop there. But, instead, I ran all the way home.
The view from the car.
The longest part of the run was around one of my favorite parts of the island, Lambert’s Cove Road. It’s a 4.5 mile, crescent shaped road that curves quickly around and through woods, meadows and old dirt roads that lead to the ocean. I’ve driven it in my car countless times over the last twelve or so years, so I knew it was fairly long and full of fast twists and turns.
But it wasn’t until this morning that I experienced it with my body. And I learned quickly that those curves don’t only go side to side, they also go up and down. None of it was flat.
It’s always nice to have some variation on a run, and none of the ‘ups’ were huge, so it was okay. But I was shocked that I’d never noticed. I was mind-blown by how easy it had been—from the fast, high-level view of the car—to miss the finer points, to miss what it was really like to travel on this road.
On the ground.
Writing a book sounds like fun. So does writing a blog. Or a crafting a speech for a client. Or making enough plates, bowls and mugs to fill your pottery shop. Or starting a webinar series on WordPress design. Or running 11 miles.
The high level view of the pitch (or what it looks like when your brain mulls through your project) is the same as being in the car. Yes, you notice the length of project, you see that there are loops and switch backs, that you have questions. Yes, you can troubleshoot—but it’s not until you start, ’til you get in there and get your fingers sticky and your brains dirty that you see the project for what it really is.
I invite you to really hear that. You won’t know what it really looks like and feels like, what it really takes, until you are knee-deep, neck-deep, (maybe even) in over your head.
And, as such, you must give yourself permission, once you’re in there, to go harder or softer, to stop or persevere, to ask for help.
And, as such, you must also give yourself permission, once you’re in there, to be proud. That even though you didn’t see some of it coming, you kept going.
And, whatever ‘kept going’ looked like for you, it had to have been good. Because it got you here.
Image credit: GElisbeth