I have always wanted to participate in a marathon. The idea of running 26.2 miles seems so satisfying and rewarding to me. I can just imagine crossing the finish line after 4+ hours of my sneakers hitting the pavement and my music blaring in my ears – my face red and dripping with hard-earned sweat. That feeling of “I did it. I really did it.”
I want that feeling.
I’ve done a hand full of half marathons, but I always have an excuse for not doing the full.
“I am too busy.”
“It’s too hot outside.”
“My schedule isn’t consistent.”
“I need someone to train with me.”
“It’s too far out to commit to a race.”
“I can always do it later.”
Blah, blah blah and so on and so forth. All of those excuses (and the billion others I’ve used over the years) are still applicable, but running this race is something I really want to do – mainly just to prove to myself that I can.
And I’m finally doing it.
I recently signed up for a full marathon in Savannah, Georgia this fall. I thought if I picked a place I had never been, the vacation would also be an incentive to train. So we’ll see how that goes.
This week I began an 18-week program that claims I will be ready by race day. On one of my runs earlier this week I was thinking about other things in my life I’ve put off because of excuses. Things I’ve always wanted to do but just never got around to. I’ve started calling them my “one days.”
One day I’ll paint my living room.
One day I’ll publish a book.
One day I’ll have that difficult conversation.
One day I’ll drink less coffee. (But probably not really.)
I think we all have have a list of “one days.” Things we’ll eventually get around to, but never do.
One day I’ll create a budget.
One day I’ll go on that vacation.
One day I’ll change careers.
One day I’ll call my grandmother.
Our excuses are valid. Life is busy. And we’re overcommitted and usually tired, despite all the coffee. But something I’ve started working on lately is being more intentional with my time. Chipping away at my “one days.”
It’s daunting to look at my list and think, “This is such a massive undertaking. How am I going to make time for this?” But it shouldn’t be that intimidating. I don’t have to put the rest of my life on hold in order to take a step towards accomplishing one of my “one days.”
For example, my marathon. I’m not just going to wake up on November 4th, trot my happy butt down to the starting line and run 26.2 miles. I mean, that would be a heck of a lot less time-consuming, but it’s not very practical. On the other hand, I’m not going to quit my job, tell my husband I’ll talk to him in 4 months and say goodbye to my friends and family in order to train over the next 18 weeks. I’m just going to take baby steps – taking 30 minutes to an hour out of most days (and a little more once a week for long runs) to gradually prepare over the next few months.
It will require a little bit of sacrifice and intentionality on my part, but it’s not going to consume my life. And it’s something I care deeply about, so to me, it’s worth it.
I hope someone out there besides me has a list of “one days.” And if it’s you, I hope you can start taking steps to cross them off your list. Because they require work and being willful and determined and focused, but it’s so very gratifying when one day you can finally cross off a “one day.”