I have a friend who plans to run his first marathon in the summer. He has only been running for about a year. Back then, he was a smoker and knew he needed to start doing something to get into shape. So he started running. He committed his time to this endeavor. As a result, his mileage has gone up, his weight has gone down, and as far as I know, he stopped smoking. If he completes this marathon, it will be an amazing accomplishment.
Let’s recap his journey:
- Made a decision to start running.
- Made changes to way of life to accommodate for time.
- Got friends and family involved. He even runs with his mother on a regular basis.
- Made changes to what he puts into his body.
- Became comfortable running longer and longer distances.
- Entered first race and completed it.
- Signed up for marathon and began training.
Each bullet point was a decision. Each decision turned into an accomplishment that validated his initial decision to get into shape. Completing them boosted his self-esteem. If you asked him a year ago about his confidence running a marathon, he probably would have laughed at you and thought you were insane just for asking. But he built his confidence up mile by mile, day by day. He built it up every time he laced up his shoes to train, regardless of the weather conditions. Now, he firmly believes completing a marathon is possible.
Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment. –Thomas Carlyle
A marathon is a big deal. It is a big commitment. You don’t wake up one day and out of the blue decide to run a marathon without training. You start small and build up to it. The journey to running 26.2 miles at one time began with one step first taken long before race day.
Great achievements are possible. Make the decision. Do the work every day, even on the days you don’t feel like it. Get small victories and then scale up to larger challenges. In time this body of work you have created will be the preparation you needed to win the dream you started with so long ago.