Lessons in Perseverance

On Saturday, I ran my fifth half marathon. And, quite honestly, I wasn’t planning to write about it like I typically do.

After all, what I can share about my experience that I haven’t already said before? What else could I possible learn?

Apparently, way more than I thought.

On the day of the race, it was practically a monsoon. It poured non-stop for hours and there was zero chance that it was going to let up during the race.
 Although I’ve run in the rain plenty of times, it certainly wasn’t an ideal race condition.

Yet, thousands of people still laced up their shoes, threw on trash bags and ponchos over their gear and ran anyway.

Despite the rain’s best efforts, it couldn’t dampen the determination of the runners and the enthusiasm of everyone who was supporting them.

Scores of people still lined the streets and cheered on their friends, loved ones and complete strangers. Hundreds of drenched volunteers cheerily handed out water and supplies to the runners and rain-soaked police offers still patrolled the route to ensure our safety.

But, the most inspiring sight of all was some of the amazing participants I encountered along the way.

Stories of determination

In the first mile, we saw a man with leg and arm braces using fierce determination with every single step he took on the course.

Although the man had a team of three coaches walking along side to encourage him, this man received way more support than that. All the racers — including us — gave him a round of applause as we passed by. I still get chills thinking about it.

Mid-way through the race, we spotted an amputee running on blades. As we were running along side him, we passed by his house. His family and friends erupted into cheers.

It was such a moving experience to see this man, who had clearly overcome so much, run with tenacity and get encouraged by his supporters who were so very proud of him.

It made me realize that if these two courageous men can get out there and run a half marathon in the torrential rain, why can’t you?

If 20,000 people — of varying skills and abilities — can run 13.1 or 26.2 miles in the pouring rain, why can’t YOU?

What’s holding you back?

Every time I’ve run a half or full marathon, I get lots of comments that sound something like this…

“I could never do that.”

“That’s crazy! How do you run that far?”

And, you know what? Four years ago, I said the same things.

That it was too far.

That I hated running.

That I couldn’t possibly do it.

But then, something changed — my mindset.

I decided I wanted to tackle this challenge and that I would find a way to make it happen.

That’s exactly what these two men did — and the thousands of others who got out there on Saturday.

They decided to do something they may have thought impossible and worked their butt off to cross that finish line.

You may not want to run a half or full marathon.

And, that’s okay.

But, don’t say you CAN’T.

And that goes for all the other challenges that you may be facing in your life, your job or your business.

What’s standing in your way of accomplishing big things? What’s keeping you from achieving that big hairy audacious goal?

Chances are good that it might just be you.

Yes, you CAN do it

Trust me when I say that you are capable of great things.

Each of us on this earth was given amazing gifts. Don’t let them go to waste. You can do way more than you can possibly imagine.

But, you can’t let that nagging voice of negativity inside your head win. You have to dare to believe that you can achieve the impossible. You have to give yourself permission to dream.

Reaching your goals isn’t going to be easy. But the hard work pays off when you finally cross that finish line.

Don’t just sit on the sidelines and wait for great things to happen.

Be bold.

Take action.

Do something that scares you.

You might just be surprised at what you can accomplish.

What’s holding you back? What’s the big, hairy audacious goal that you’re running from?

Image: That’s what my friend, Zach, and I looked like after running for a couple of hours in the rain! And, despite the difficult conditions, I managed to get a personal best with my time!

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Laura Click

Laura Click is brand strategist, speaker, podcaster and the founder of Blue Kite. Learn more about Laura and her work at Blue Kite.

4 replies on “Lessons in Perseverance”

as a fellow runner/marathoner, I love this post! 🙂 running is more mental than anything. and it’s fun when we realize that the majority of life is all about perspective. it makes the “I can’t” easily turn into “I will.” congrats, Laura!

So great to meet a fellow runner! You are so right, Jessica – running (and most challenges in life) is all about mental toughness. Getting passed your own objections can be the hardest part!

Do you you have any upcoming races in the books? I’m trying to decide what I’m going to run next.

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