There are many of you out there who are probably in the process of training for your first half marathon or marathon. You are likely in the middle of your journey, or maybe even nearing the end, and you cannot wait until it’s all over. You are looking forward to accomplishing your goal and draping that medal around your neck. You are excited because of what’s to come. However, it’s important that you learn to enjoy your training, or rather, the process.
Looking back, I remember waiting with anticipation to finish my training. I couldn’t wait to cross the finish line and feel the pure joy and excitement of finishing. But, when it was all over and the weeks of training were absent, it finally occurred to me how much, believe it or not, I missed it.
Why would I miss the long hours of training? Why would I miss waking up at the break of dawn on a Saturday to run for two hours straight? For me, it was the sudden lack of growth. What I mean is that after it was all over and my journey had concluded, I suddenly felt stagnant. You see, every single weekend, every single long run, was a personal triumph. I was constantly working towards a goal and growing in confidence, strength, and belief. When I stopped training and my runs became shorter, I missed the challenge.
It’s important in our lives that we grow. Personal growth is positive proof that we are enriching our lives, be it in training for a marathon, learning to play guitar or signing up for a cooking class. It is an indicator of forward progression and the acceptance of new ideas. It is us striving for something more than just the bare minimum. Without growth we become mere shadows of ourselves and it becomes increasingly difficult to find true contentment. Thus, we must constantly seek to empower our minds, our bodies and our hearts. However, you must realize that setting a goal and subsequently crossing the finish line does not equal growth – it’s really all the moments in-between.
Never neglect the seemingly inconsequential moments of working towards any goal and focus on identifying your personal growth. Too many people get caught up in the actual goal and forget that the journey itself can actually be more rewarding. Therefore, it’s important that you enjoy the genuine growth aspect of training and allow yourself to enjoy the process.
By Raul Alanis