In case it’s not already clear, I hate running. If I ever have to run, it’ll be to keep from being eaten by a bear…or a zombie. Whichever. I lift weights, flip tires, punch bags, and swing hammers. I don’t run. But this past weekend I put all my reservations aside to support a good cause. I signed up for the Everyday Superhero 5K to help raise funds for The Morgan Nick Foundation. They’re mission is to educate and empower children and families to stay safe from abduction and harm. I ran to be a hero, just one of many I had the honor of running alongside.
And so I ran. And I set two PRs. #1 I ran a complete mile without stopping – something I’ve never been able to do; and #2 I ran the farthest I’ve ever run at any single time. Sure, I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. And, yes, I got passed by a little girl in a Batgirl costume — she’s a badass in my book. But I did it. I ran a 5K. Besides supporting a cause or setting PRs, this event offered several life lessons…things that occurred to me as I was sucking wind.
#1: Suck it up and do the work.
Did I mention I hate running? Despite that fact, I did it. I did what I didn’t want to do in order to help others in bad situations. Sometimes, we have to suck it up and just do the work. Not for us, but for others.
#2: A journey of 5 kilometers begins with a single step.
Early in the race, I started counting my steps. It distracted me from the full distance I had to run and kept me focused on simply taking another step. There have been several times in my life that, if I had focused on the entire journey of whatever obstacle I was facing, I’d have become overwhelmed. So instead, I would focus on taking just one more step to completing that journey.
#3: It won’t last forever.
Each time I had to stop and catch my breath, each time my feet began to ache and my calves were on fire, I reminded myself that it’ll all be over soon. In his book The Perfect Day Formula, Craig Ballantyne says “Everything, both good and bad, comes to an end. I must enjoy the good while it lasts, and persevere through the bad until I have beaten it.”
So there you have it. My lessons from a 5K. When things get tough, and obstacles stand in your way — suck it up and do the work; focus on the process; and remember, this too shall pass.