What Will You Do?

There always have been and always will be obstacles and challenges in life. They surround us. It’s how we react to them that determines where and how far we go.

What’s your breaking point? At what point do you resign yourself to the “inevitable”? What has to happen for you to consider a goal in life not worth it anymore?

Too many people give up way too easily:  It’s too far to drive. I don’t want to give up my daily Starbucks for that financial goal. I don’t have time, I need to relax…in front of the TV. Still, there are fighters!

In fact, I saw a fighter tonight. She was running toward me. Usually I make eye contact with other runners and say “hey”, but she didn’t look my direction. That’s when I noticed she was missing a leg. In place of her leg was a prosthetic. Later, we passed again. This time I said, “Hey, you’re an inspiration!” She replied, “Thank you.”

How many people would have taken up running, without a leg? How many people would have even thought of the possibility? What about areas in our own lives? Things we have no control over…Things we may be missing….Things that make us different… Are we willing to think outside the box? Are we willing to commit the hard work? Are we willing to go a different route? Are we willing to push through the pain?

Are we willing to do what it takes to achieve dreams others label as impossible?

Do what you need to do to achieve your dreams!

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You are defined in life by the way you respond to defeat.

Do you ever reach a point where you don’t want to pick yourself up, and try again? How tempting is it to just pause for a moment…..and think, if only? If only I didn’t have to go on. If only I didn’t have to face that fear again. If only I didn’t have to face that hurt again. If only…

That mental struggle, when facing life’s challenges and disappointments, is one of the reasons I love physical challenges. And one of the reasons I love this video I found on YouTube:

Last Saturday I ran sixteen miles, in rain. That is the farthest I have ever gone. And I learned that running in a steady rain for three and a half hours can feel very different from running a rainy 5k. By the time I had gone four miles, my shoes had become sponges. Long before I was done, every part of me was drenched. Because of the weather, I unintentionally tensed my muscles the entire way. I always leave an extra mile at the end of my long runs, to cool down with a walk. As soon as I started walking, pain shot through my entire body. It felt like metal rods were going straight through my legs from every direction. And I was very cold. I hate to admit it, but I whimpered home.

Now why do I love physical challenges? Two reasons.

First, the physical challenge reminds me if I can make it through, I can make it through challenges in other areas of my life. It reminds me we are much more flexible and stronger than we think we are. Second, persevering through physical challenges toughens me up for future situations or events, like races. It enables me to feel better as I attack those future challenges. The same applies to other areas of life. If we grow through life’s challenges and disappointments, we can better handle what life will throw at us in the future.

I attribute persevering through difficulties, in both running and life, to a relationship with God. I know if he was not in my life, I would not have gone on.

Greatness at 5:30 A.M.?

When Is the Time for Greatness?

I had it made as a runner. I lived in a town small enough you could run anywhere, any time, and be safe. I had a consistent running partner who was very encouraging. I would get home from work, throw on my running gear, and head out the door, covering anywhere from three to seven miles. More if we were training for a half marathon. I loved running for the challenge (as I talked about in Marathon Training:  The Beginning) and the endorphins. It made me healthier, made me feel better, and made me sleep better.

Now….it’s different.

Now we live in a big city where it’s not a good idea to go running certain places or certain times, at least not by myself. My husband has been kind enough to join me, even though he doesn’t like running (I think he does it because he loves me and knows it’s good for him). We run one mile, twice, during the week. I try to cover more than two miles on the weekend. I know, being in a transitional stage of life makes it harder to find time for running. I miss it.

There is one thing I have learned from this alteration in my running-side of life:

When we want something to remain in our lives badly enough, we’ll surprise ourselves with how we make it work.

I am not a morning person. And I always declared I could never get up early on a regular basis to run. Until now.

I don’t like getting up at 5:30 a.m. My husband likes it even less. BUT we still do it. To run. There is absolutely no other time we could run. Do I think it’s worth it? Yes.

How many times in life are we put in a position where we have to make something work? If it’s worth enough to us, we do just that… Make it work. Many times we don’t push ourselves the way we could, because we don’t have to. Why do we have to wait until the “have to” point? Just imagine what could happen if we push ourselves before reaching that point… What greatness could be accomplished!?

Nation Novel Writing Month

Okay. I admit it. This will probably be one of my shortest blog post thus far. It’s past 11:00 pm, and I’ve just started writing. But….this will not be the last time I find myself writing this late. In just five short days I will begin the long, crazy…more like psychotic…journey that NaNoWriMo is. National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to have 50,000 words written by midnight, the last day of November. Think I can make it? I try not to think about that…

But it is a challenge. And some might say impossible. I figure, if I bother to write a blog titled Specializing in the Impossible, why not? The goal is not quality in content. The goal is simply in the numbers. Most of my life has been focused on the quality of what I accomplish. Even to the point of considering something not accomplished if it did not meet “the standard”. Whatever that was.

Will I really gain anything by going through the NaNoWriMo process? I think so. Though at this point I couldn’t tell you what. I know I’ll probably fry my brain. Which I think I’m doing at this very moment, staring at the computer screen. I better get to bed…

Good luck to all you NaNoWriMo people out there!