I Never Thought I Could: 5 Lessons from 26.2 Miles
Updated: Jul 6, 2021
8 months ago, I laughed at my friend when she excitedly suggested that we should run a marathon together.
You name the limiting belief, I had it. And I believed it --100%
Maybe you’re there too.
I feel like Moms are especially good at feeling stuck. Not because we’re lame, but because mom-life is demanding!
We’re not even sleeping through the night…
We don’t remember the last time we clipped our toe nails…
We can’t see the floor in at *least* one room of the house…
We’re settling for dinners we know aren’t great for our family…
We’re lonely because we can’t find a friend who understands our lives…
We can’t think straight so it makes us crazy-wives…
Drinking water? Who does that!?
We literally have 1000 reasons to NOT do things.
Do you feel that way? I was right there with you.
When my friend asked about the marathon, I fired off *valid* excuses like it was my full time job.
(If you're morbidly curious what a marathon is like, check out the running footage and running selfie video at the end :)
I’m a farmer’s wife… do you realize how all-consuming that is?
I had a 1 year old… do you realize how impossible running would be?
I have two other kids who need me - always. Where are they going to go?
My baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet… do you realize how exhausting that is?
I’m in charge of a milk business… do you realize how time consuming that is?
Besides - I could never run that far… I have sports asthma
I’ve only felt like a fit person for 2 minutes of my life between baby number 2 and 3.
I haven’t “worked out” for 2 years.
There’s no way I could even do it if I tried!
Did I mention I am a farmer's wife?
Also… I’m a farmer’s wife.
My friend patiently waited while I spewed my reasons for why it wouldn’t work.
She kindly responded with what later turned into a haunting encouragement.
Her response? WHAT IF….
What IF we could figure it out?
What IF there WAS a way that it COULD work… What would that look like?
I wrapped a bow on the conversation and called it done by telling her I would practice with her but that I would NOT run the marathon with her.
She kindly agreed and said we would start with 3 miles later that week. I panicked. I can’t run three miles! I “just” had a baby! What was she thinking? No way was I surviving this. *Insert a another thousand limiting beliefs here*
Guess what though? Just like any other big, scary task, it has to begin somewhere -- sometimes that begins with a phone call. Or maybe it begins in your journal. Or may it begins on your painter’s canvas. Or maybe it begins with a donation box. Or maybe it begins with calling a friend.
My “big scary” just happened to begin with a step. And then another. And then three miles of steps -- All while I was watering and tending to the excuses in my head.
The funny thing is: NOTHING changed about my circumstances at first. I was still a farmer’s wife with a 1 year old and all the things….
HOWEVER - my THINKING began changing because I spent time with someone who believed in me.
Fast-forward 8 months and 26.2 think-shifting miles and I’m here to help you.
I'm a FIRM believer in learning from the hard parts of someone else's' journey if it can make mine better. ....I'm sharing these with you so you can stand on my shoulders.
So here you go: 5 Think-shifting Lessons For your Next "Marathon" (Whatever that might be)
1. Challenge your “nevers”
After this experience, I feel like I’ll never look at my “nevers” the same way.
I thoroughly believed in my “never” and then I smashed it to pieces 8 months later.
Was it easy? Not at all! Sleeping in would have been *significantly* easier than getting up at 5 a.m. to run 3 days a week. But guess what?!
“Never” is a lie if it is conquerable. Be careful what you “never”...
Don't give the keys to your fears when you could in fact be crossing the finish line of that goal 8 months from now. You never know what your “nevers” are controlling until you challenge them.
2. GO WITH A FRIEND, GO WITH A FRIEND, GO WITH A FRIEND!!!!!
Let’s just pause right there for a second.
There have been times in my life where I felt so alone I thought I was going to dry up like a raisin and die.
This girl doesn’t do well in isolation and I have gone through seasons of severe isolation. If that happens to be you - I see you. I know the feeling, and the feeling is horrible.
I don’t have answers to why we feel so isolated at times but I *do* know that Jesus sees you and He loves to be asked for the things that you need. Don’t be afraid to ask Him for what you need.
That being said, I want to encourage you to get out and pursue friendship with people. If there aren’t friends in your immediate circle, make another circle. Statistics prove that you WILL become the average of your five closest friends… so go find someone who is someone that you wish you were… and then BE a friend! It’s worth going after because it WILL change who you are.
After you find a friend to go WITH you, find a friend who will cheer FOR you! My sister and her family joined my husband and some friends of ours in the cheering squad for the marathon and I can't TELL YOU what a difference it makes. Surround yourself with cheer leaders. If you don't have one - I'll be yours :) Encouraging people is my jam, and it makes a world of difference when life is hard!
3. Pick a friend who can challenge your thinking - and then listen!
Is it just me or is it 100 times easier to see something in someone else's' life than in your own? It feels like it’s always easier to see solutions outside of my own circumstances.
You, friend, need that for yourself. You need someone who is safe enough to challenge the way you think and then you need to listen to that person.
(Remember we already picked someone who we wanted to be in our average in number 2, so we’re obviously not listening to bad advice). I’m talking here about my friend’s “What IF” question. She didn’t yell at me and tell me my thinking was stupid; She gently challenged my thinking and it shifted my entire mental trap.
When someone is challenging your mental narrative for the better - LISTEN to them. This could even be a book… or a Blog… or a Podcast…. Or a crazy farmer's wife lady ;) Whatever it is, let’s listen and adapt to positive mental challenges.
4. Take it one bite/step/page at a time; NEVER underestimate small change over time
In aviation, there is this cool rule that I’m about to butcher. Sorry to anyone who knows anything about aviation. I’ll plead the dummy card. The idea is the 1 to 60 rule. It is the simple fact that if a plane is ONE degree off course for 60 miles, you will be an entire MILE off target from where they intended to go.
I’d like to take the reverse of this rule. If we make SMALL changes - OVER TIME, they will dramatically change where we end up.
THIS IS GOOD NEWS FOR US
This means you don’t have to run a marathon tomorrow!
This means you don’t have to publish your children’s book tomorrow!
This means you don’t have to have your rock solid mom-bod tomorrow!
This means you don’t have to solve all your marriage issues tomorrow!
You just need ONE degree of change today!
What could that ONE degree of change be? (One degree is pretty small, so make it simple!)
5. Expect Crazy
Many, many times when I woke up at 4:45 or 5 to go train while the kids were still sleeping; I thought to myself: This feels crazy. And guess what? It was.
So: Let’s just acknowledge the cray-cray and make it a cozy spot in our lives.
If you’re going to do crazy, chances are it will feel crazy.
That’s ok. “Crazy” is what comfort zones feel like when you challenge them
If we’re prepared for crazy ahead of time, it hopefully won’t freak us out when it comes our way.
We can greet it like an expected guest and shock it’s pants off when we invite it to stay for tea.
There you have it! 5 Lessons you *don't* have to take 8 months to learn because I already did it for you :) Whatever "Marathon" you're facing, I'm always cheering for you!
You've got this!
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