It’s the beginning of the new year and, as we know, the new year brings resolutions. Usually, resolutions are well-meaning goals that we set to generate positive changes in our lives. I say usually because this year I’m being haunted by a decision that I made last year at this same time. This decision is the reason that I am anxiously anticipating what is likely to be the most challenging physical test I’ve ever put my body through. I’m prepared for pain and discomfort, unlike anything I’ve felt before. To date, the most painful experiences for me have been fracturing an elbow at the roller skating rink and getting staples after a sign fell on my head. Painful, but manageable.
Nothing compared to running 26.2 miles with very little training.
Let me back up a moment. One of my dreams has been to run a marathon at least one time in my life. So, last year after the holidays, I signed up for the marathon with good intentions of training throughout the year. I planned on running long distances on the weekends, possibly joining a running group to keep me motivated to run during the week. However, rather than chalking up the miles, life—and a bunch of excuses—got in the way. I started writing a book. I slacked on running. I’d skip a day and then tell myself, I’ll run double the distance next time.
And that’s how I found myself in this current predicament. Looking forward to but also dreading tomorrow. I’ve said some prayers, tried some visualization exercises—picturing myself crossing the finish line—and given myself pep talks. I’ve also been working on a really important list for two days because I want it to be just right. The list is 26 people, one person for each mile of the race, to think about and help occupy my mind during the seven(!) hours it might take to finish the race.
As I’m preparing for tomorrow, I find myself thinking about all of the different kinds of challenges we experience in our lives and how we face these challenges. You may not be going through marathon jitters, but you may have some other obstacle, equally challenging, that is causing you angst. How will you overcome this obstacle? Prayers? Talks with a loved one? Share your ideas below!