Monday, April 5, 2010

see mj write: day 5 {your favorite quote}

the first time i read my now-favorite quote, i was on mile 12 of a 13.1 mile race and was just not feelin' it. i started out too fast and crashed. and then i was mad. all i wanted to do was run a sub-two hour half and that was not going to happen. my running partner had raced on ahead, sure to meet my goal {for the second time in a month} while i lagged behind. i feigned some smiles at the end of the race for picture-taking sake, but i was mad.

"We must do the thing we think we cannot do."
-eleanor roosevelt

and you know what i thought when i saw the sign?: "eleanor roosevelt must have never run a half marathon."

and maybe she hadn't. but if she had, i bet her mind would have been in it. she wouldn't have given up at mile 9 when she knew she wouldn't meet her time and angrily moseyed her way to the finish line.

i think it's very fitting that this sign was posted near the final stretch of an endurance race. a half marathon, for me, is very doable. in fact, it's one of my preferred distances. it's long enough that i definitely have to train and work hard, but it's short enough that i know, barring any injuries, i will finish. it doesn't tear up my body like a full marathon and i can still live a normal life during the weeks of training.

but, my attitude at the end of the race and overall view of each particular training run has a lot to do with with the way i think.

if i plan to run, say, 10 miles one day, i know i can do it. i'll be tired at the end and i might not look pretty, but i can do it. if i plan to run, say, 18 miles, it's the same story. but, if i plan to run 10 and get lost or make a wrong turn or miscalculate the route and end up running 18, even if i'm physically trained to run that far, it's almost as if my body can't keep up. my mind wasn't prepared so my body doesn't follow suit. i wasn't mentally prepared.

and, believe it or not, i don't think eleanor roosevelt meant for this quote to be about running! i find its words so true in many aspects of my life. i need to stretch myself and go out of my comfort zone in order to experience new levels of growth. i need to feel a little bit of pain in a sacrifice to make it worthwhile. i need to believe in myself and my own personal worth and abilities.

most likely, i'm going to doubt whatever big obstacle is standing in my way. but if i doubt it and then give myself that little mental push that i can do it, i'm pretty sure i'll make it happen...and i'll be so happy i did. hopefully i'll be pushed along with the help and encouragement of others. and there is a high probability that some blood, sweat and tears will be mixed in, but if i think i can, i will.


Regan said...

Great quote! I love it.

whitney said...

bravo mare. i've often thought about you and your goal to get under 2 hours in a half. you've always trained and prepared yourself physically... I know you can do it.... your friends know you can do it.... now YOU have to know you can do it. and then at the end when you feel like you're going to die, you have to remember that your body CAN do it and keep pushing.

Courtney said...

wow, I think I really needed to read that quote today.
btw, I am totally inspired by your running!

Rebecca Parker said...

Amen dear cousin! Once again, you said it beautifully as did Eleanor:) We will be quoting you someday...