A Journey of a Thousand Miles

Great_wall_of_china-mutianyu_3Chinese proverb: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Metaphorically, this can be said of any significant endeavor. The problem is, after the excitement of taking the first step wears off,  lots more steps remain to be taken.

How many times have you decided that this is the year you’ll lose weight, exercise more, learn a new language, etc. – only to see the new regimen slip away once you realize how much time and discipline it requires? In my case, training for the Marine Corps Marathon has been both a rote process and inner journey. Improving physical fitness and speed has been a straightforward process of following protocols with defined goals and measurable milestones. The inner journey has involved developing new discipline, learning new ways to move, discovering self-limiting habits and seeing them for what they really are, confronting nay-saying personal demons, and finding out how to remain positive and motivated in the face of fatigue, discomfort and inconvenience. Of course, there have also been the aha! moments, occasions when everything has felt like it’s flowing and working really well, and many seemingly pointless smiles along the way. (Is it happiness or endorphins?)

March 24, 2014: A journey of 26.2 miles begins with getting a baseline. I walked one of my favorite hilly routes through my neighborhood – 3.8 miles in 61 minutes (average pace = 16:01/mile.) Hmm, pretty much where I was two years ago, including all the old problems (even a touch of hamstring pain).

Good grief, this is going to be a lot of work! So WHY exactly am I doing this to myself?