Since completing my first half-marathon in June, I've been thinking about the lessons I can learn from that experience that could apply to other areas of my life. I thought you might enjoy listening in on my thoughts about this, and look for places where the lessons I'm learning might apply to your own journey as well. So here's an excerpt from my journal entry regarding this:
So here's what I'm taking away from this run--I did it! It wasn't perfect, it wasn't particularly fast. The training was less than excellent, and there was some significant doubt whether I could finish the race at all. But in the end, I did it.
As I look back over this experience, here's what I see as the key things I did that led me to success:
1. I made the race my own. That is, I stopped trying to run at the pace or in the way that others were running, and simply ran my own race.
2. I stopped trying to get to the finish line. Rather, I settled into what was happening right in the current moment, and placed my focus there. I took on a pace that allowed me to move forward without sacrificing my capacity to enjoy what was happening each moment along the way. In this way, I didn't overtax my body by trying to rush to the finish.
3. I let joy, enjoyment, and fun be one of the primary goals of the whole experience. Enjoyment of life is a powerful force for moving forward. Finishing was very important, but enjoyment of the process was more important still. I found myself continually asking the question, "What is needed right now to make this genuinely fun?"
I'll leave you to draw the parallels between my marathon lessons and finding success in the marathon of everyday life. Meantime, I'll keep looking.