Completing ten marathons was never the goal. When I first started running, I fell in love with the way it made me feel. The pavement was a sanctuary I would visit daily to find peace. Running led me towards finding the best version of myself. Out on the roads, I learned to feel good about myself for the first time in my life. All my free time was spent chasing my next runner’s high. I was officially addicted, so I continued to run.
Despite my obsession with the sport, running a marathon wasn’t on my radar. That all changed after listening to a colleague tell stories about running Big Sur and the New York City Marathon. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was being lured into the world of marathons one story at a time. Before long, I had committed to running a marathon myself. In December of that year, I crossed the finish line of my very first marathon, the Rocket City Marathon in Huntsville, Alabama – and it changed my life. Since then I’ve crossed the finish line of nine other marathons.
I never dreamed about running ten marathons, but if I hadn’t run these races, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. These are the ten lessons I learned from running ten marathons:
1.Rocket City Marathon – Try something new, even if it is scary and you doubt your ability to succeed. Doing so will give you the courage to take risks and learn to trust yourself in the future.
2. New York City Marathon – Some experiences are better than your biggest dreams. Be open to possibilities and never limit yourself.
3. Chicago Marathon – It’s okay to pick an easier route; you don’t always have to choose the hardest option. This does not mean you are not a badass, it means you are smart enough to acknowledge your limits.
4. Richmond Marathon – Putting one foot in front of the other is an effective way to move forward when you don’t know how else to get from point A to point B. No matter how slow progress feels, just keep moving forward and you’ll reach your destination.
5. Rock ’n’ roll San Diego Marathon – You are not a failure just because you didn’t reach your goal. Don’t make excuses: dig deeper to figure out what you can change and keep trying until you achieve success.
6. New York City Marathon – Helping someone else achieve their bucket-list goal is just as fulfilling as reaching your own goal. Be generous with your time and don’t hesitate to lend a helping hand.
7. LA Marathon – Try not to spend too much time staring at your feet. As Ferris Bueller once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
8. Boston Marathon – Huge wins don’t happen every day, but when they do, celebrate like it’s your last day on earth and accept every high-five that comes your way.
9. Chicago Marathon – You are not superwoman. Take a break when you need it and learn to admit defeat before you completely break down.
10. Philadelphia Marathon – Be grateful for what you have and don’t lose sight of the things that matter most. Your goals are important, but sometimes they need to take a backseat to everything else in life.