Saturday, January 26, 2008

What Is Your Finish Line?

You know how people always say that you can do anything you put your mind to? Well, I am a firm believer but I like to take that thinking one step further and add that "You can do anything but if a fire burns inside of you, your chances of success are that much greater."

Since finishing my first marathon a few weeks ago, people have asked me many times questions like "how on earth did you wake up at 3 am, sit around for 3 hours, run for 3 hours after that and then walk around in Disney World for 12 hours after that?" Aside from the obvious answer - adrenaline - I myself wonder really what it was that got me to that start line. It's the what that I have been trying to define. What is it and how can I get more of that? The thought may be somewhat abstract but not really.

You see, I believe that in order for a goal or a dream to stick it must burn inside you. The burn doesn't have to be a full flame but just enough to speak to you. Not in the literal sense, mind you. Dreams can speak to you in many ways. Maybe you envision achieving that goal and you cannot get that vision out of your head. Maybe you talk about it constantly or blog repeatedly (OK so most of my blog topics this year have been about running). If you cannot get the thought out of your head, then you have an achievable goal. It is then up to you to get out there and do it. Which brings me back to my marathon day. The what that got me up at 3 am wasn't my insomnia. It was the burning inside of me. The flame had gotten so intense that I could taste this race. I went over it hundreds of times in my head. I was so excited to finally be there that I set 4 alarm clocks (up down double dot to the 100th degree!) I checked and laid out my clothes, rechecked, checked again, rechecked a dozen times. Waking up at 3 am became that little tiny thing I had to do in order to get to the start line.

When I got to the start line I remember thinking about the journey. I vividly remember the early November day when I was on a short run (2 miles) and 1 mile out I could go no further. My legs just wouldn't move. My body quit on me. I walked 1 mile back to my house in the dark all sweaty and stinky. Negative thought surrounded me. I got to the steps of my front door and cried. It wasn't too late to quit. I would only lose the $100 entrance fee if I just stopped NOW. But then I thought "I will never see that finish line that I keep thinking and dreaming about." Obviously those thoughts did not last long. I was back up and running the very next day.

Some people who have seen my marathon photos all say the same thing..."You don't even look tired at all" or "You are smiling. That is amazing." And I explain it all by saying that my weariness was not nearly as great as my elation at seeing that finish line and knowing that I was about to experience one of the top 10 greatest moments of my life so far.

So if you have a flame that burns inside of you, don't let it get away. Keep it burning and go for it. Go for your FINISH line. You will be amazed how you feel when you get there.

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