This past weekend my parents came into town. For a number of people that is a common occurrence, but for me it’s less frequent as my parent’s still live in my hometown of Manchester, Iowa. I love when they visit. Our time is spent having great conversation, eating delicious food, laughing, and enjoying each others company. Though it was only for a long weekend, it was great. I even accomplished a first. I ran my first 10k!
I knew my dad had been running. He’s always enjoyed a good run. I’ve always been amazed at his drive to run. I didn’t realize how frequently he had been running a longer distance. We talked over the phone when I started running because I knew that he was also running. I talked about my times over two miles and how I was trying to compete with myself and my time. He always made me feel as though I was doing a great job. Like I was an impressive runner. Though I’m not breaking any records, his supportive backing helped spark my want to run more. I still never once imagined that I’d ever run a 10K. Like ever.
I knew we were going running. I was looking forward to it, though I hadn’t been running as much as I had been earlier in the summer. I went with the thought that I would run 2-3 miles and my dad would continue on with the rest of his 10K. That morning I felt blah. Like when you don’t really even want to get out of bed. And to run??? You’ve got to be joking. I still knew that I wanted to do this. I needed to run as I hadn’t in a few days. I didn’t want to disappoint. I got my gear on and we stretched in the front driveway. I told my dad that I really don’t like running with people as I’m a bit self conscious of my breathing. LOL! I know. Ridiculous.
As we started out, my dad said we would run a mile or two out and we would turn around so I could be back home when I finished and he would run back out. Though at the moment that was still my plan, it felt weird. I didn’t want my dad to have to run back before he was done just to turn around and do it again. Our pace was steady and a little slower than my normal pace. That was a good thing. Looking back now, I think it’s the only way I finished. 9:40 minute mile. Let’s do this.
As we got going, I felt better. That’s the thing about running and exercising in general. Once you start, you can usually push through as you get a little extra juice. You feel good about what you’re doing. You are accomplishing a goal. That’s therapeutic. We ran to a park that is just over a mile from our house. That part felt pretty easy. Once we got into the park it was even easier. I think it’s probably because the surroundings were peaceful. And beautiful. I was so used to running multiple laps on concrete. That can be painfully boring. I thought I liked the fact I knew how many laps I needed to run yet. I think I was wrong.
As we got to the mile and a half my dad asked me if we were turning around. I told him I was good to go and we continued. As we got to just over 4 and a half miles my dad told me that I could go at my own pace. I naturally have a longer stride and he thought he was slowing me down. In reality his pace is what got me to that point. I didn’t really want to speed up, but I did. As a competitor, I had to see what I had. That last mile and a half was tough. I had negative thoughts. I had made it that far, but in those tough moments I wanted to stop. I thought I could just walk the last half mile, I mean who really needs to run over 6 miles??? I pushed through and finished. It felt amazing. I felt like I had conquered a mountain. In reality it was just something that I had never imagined doing and completing it was a great feeling. I was proud. And tired. But more so proud.
Though it was just a run, I learned something so imperative in life. Don’t limit yourself. I knew this already, but really loved the reminder. We all go through the paces in life and there are many times that we lower the bar to something we say is “attainable”. The thing is, if you set that lower bar how will you ever surpass it? You will get to that goal and stop, because you checked it off. What if we all came up with unreal goals in life? Ones we can’t imagine accomplishing. Ones that could change our life. I think that it would help us get to our best self. It would help us actually chase those things that we truly would love to do or have, but scared to try.
I never imagined running a 10k. I had kind of always put the top of my running goals at a 5k. That felt like a lot, but in reality it felt safe. Screw safe. Shoot for the top. Pick a goal that you will potentially never achieve. Pick one that would change your life, even if you came up a little short. If you pick the safe goal and come up short then what? You will be even more disappointed than before. Pick that massive or “crazy” goal and don’t stop. Those are the goals worth trying. Those are the dreams worth chasing. That’s the long run you need to push for. Go get your 10k.
I challenge you to write down a CRAZY goal. It can be a health goal, a financial goal, a family goal, or anything else, but it has to be CRAZY. Let me know how your chase goes.