It takes a special kind of person to set a goal that involves running 100 miles straight, starting at over 10,000 feet in elevation and following a trail that winds up and over passes and through forests, valleys and rivers. It takes someone who is strong, determined, motivated, disciplined and focused. It takes someone who can overcome physical challenges and mental barriers. It takes someone who has the will to run.
As a runner, I have met so many amazing people who have changed the way I view life. Runners are remarkable people on and off the trail (or road). I will even go so far as to give myself a little credit here. I used to be just okay and a somewhat decent person. Then I started running and I became more than just okay. It took time, lots of running and other changes in my life, but I am finally proud of who I am. Of course we all have things we can work on and I am definitely not perfect by any means. I always think about how I can better myself and I do struggle to not be so concerned with how others view me.
However, I can confidently say that I am strong, determined, motivated, disciplined and focused. These qualities do not just apply to my running. They apply to my life. They apply to how I work, take care of my family, handle problems and interact with others. I take a challenge and run with it (sometimes literally). I still get nervous about whether or not I am doing it right, but I have more confidence than I ever had before. When I make a mistake, I reflect and move on. If I fail, I make a promise to never quit and find another way to succeed.
The runners I know are awesome friends. Most of them share my values and outlook on life. Their arms are always wide open and their hearts are always warm. When they fall, they stand up, dust themselves off and move on at a faster pace. When you fall, they usually laugh at you first, but then they hold out their hand, pull you up and tell you to keep your ass moving.
Sometimes we miss a training run or don’t finish a race we start, but our heart is always set on achieving more and becoming a better person than who we were when we first started. It’s not about the amount of miles completed, but the quality of those miles completed. So, whether your goal is to run around the block without stopping or to run 100 miles, you are in the same state of mind. You are the person who is strong, determined, motivated, disciplined and focused. It doesn’t take 100 miles to prove that, but it does take an inward glance, a desire to be something more and an acceptance that you will follow through no matter what and no matter how long it takes to get there.