I started running in 2006. I never had any intention of becoming a runner, it was simply a way to help maintain my recent weight loss. But, like so many of us, I somehow managed to catch the bug. I still remember the day I decided to go outside and run a mile, without stopping. It was a big deal. It was also a very short term goal that I had set for myself. After I completed it, I was on cloud 9. I couldn't believe how easy it seemed. Granted, I had been building up my endurance on a treadmill for months prior, but I still had a lot of doubt.
Since then I've set and achieved several goals; complete a half marathon, improve my 5k and 10k times, complete a marathon (Chicago in 2010/ 4:37:46), run 1000 miles in a year, do two half marathon's in a year, etc. In 2011 I decided to raise the bar and committed to completing two marathons and obtaining a Rock and Roll Heavy Medal. (In order to receive the Heavy Medal you have to complete multiple Rock & Roll marathons or half marathons.)
In May I competed the Rockford Marathon, in Rockford Illinois (4:15:32). In August, the Chicago Rock & Roll Half marathon (1:46:12). In Sept. I became a sub 4 hour marathoner, after finishing the Fox Valley Marathon in 3:59:39. And now, next Sunday on Dec 4th, I will run the Las Vegas Rock & Roll half marathon, thereby completing my goals for 2011. I've already started brainstorming what I will set as goals for 2012 (I'm keeping it secret for now).
So, What's the Point?! Let's face it we all love the feeling of accomplishment and there may not be a single way better to achieve that than with running. Every goal I have set, all the way back to that first mile, was filled with anguish and doubt. Countless hours convincing myself I was capable of doing whatever I set out to do. And that was just the beginning. Once we start training, doubt is along for the ride, damn near every day!!! But in the end, we train, prepare and we succeed. And there is no greater feeling than the moment you approach that finish line and get to say aloud "See, I told you so!"
And that....is the point! We are capable of much more than we give ourselves credit for. Not just in running, but in life. Success starts with belief, and until you believe, you will never know that can. Running is a training ground for life. Running can give you that confidence to accomplish things you never dreamed possible.