Six months ago I ran my first half marathon. I can say running that race changed my life. I accomplished something I never dreamed possible. Shortly after completing the Riverton Half my mind began to imagine. What’s next? I toyed with lots of new athletic goals. Yet my mind kept saying “you can run 13.1 miles but can you run 26.2 miles?” I remember trying to shake the thought several times. I don’t need to run 26.2 miles but the thought kept returning. On the closing day for the St George marathon registration I had an interesting encounter. A man came into my work and began talking about trail running. I expressed my tepid interest in trying a marathon. He proceeded to tell me his story of his first marathon. Thirty minutes later he sold the St George marathon to me. That night at 11:30 pm I sat in front of my computer holding the cursor over the submit button. I said to myself you can do anything so do it. I hit submit and a week later I got the confirmation email stating I had been accepted to run the marathon.
At this point I was excited and very anxious. I mean who voluntarily signs up to beat their bodies to the edge of maximum physical endurance. Well I have now officially joined that category a masochism. In fact I even paid $100 to beat myself up and run for 5 hours straight. The following months came and went I trained and trained. I remember finishing my half marathon in May and feeling super beat. Then came August and running a half marathon on a Saturday morning just seems like a solid workout.
Saturday I again accomplished something I never dreamed possible. I got up at 4 in the morning and rode a bus 26 miles up the highway. You could taste peoples excitement and nervousness. The girl across from me nervously vomited during the ride. I sat near a fire to stay warm waiting for the race to start. Feelings of unknown filled me with excitement. I felt alive. At 6:45 the gun went off yet the crowd didn’t move. There were so many people. Eventually the river of colored shirts bled into the dark as it flowed down the highway. Full of spunk and energy I trotted along. Near mile 7 the obstacle that everyone talks about for the St George marathon appeared. The Veyo hill. This is a steep hill that you must climb to get out of the city of Veyo. I remember running up the hill and thinking to myself. That was it? that’s what everyone was moaning about? I prepared for much worse during my training. Climbing Veyo hill seemed like nothing. In fact for the first 20 miles of the course I felt really good. I ran with very few issues. After mile 20 though the challenge began. The weather started to warm, my hamstrings started to cramp, my right foot started to hurt. But I persisted and finished strong.
I can say I know how to do hard things. I have learned lots in the past few years. But the lesson that returns again and again is this. You can do anything you set your mind to. Every victory starts with the first step. If you can’t run a marathon. Start where you can. Walk a quarter mile. There is no goal we cannot accomplish. Instead of saying I cant do that. Say, I cant do that right now. But I can do this today. Every goal can be broken into smaller steps that we can accomplish. An hour a day adds up to quite the accomplishment over a lifetime. Walk to victory my friends.