About six months ago, my husband surprised me and asked if he could join me in training for a marathon. See, I had run two marathons back in 2009, right before I had joined the Kennesaw City Council.
My running had taken a back seat the last three years while I focused on the city and other things. In April, I decided it was time to make me a priority. Sunday was the culmination of six months of training. Steve and I learned some very valuable lessons over the 26.2-mile course. These lessons can really translate into our real lives as well.
Lesson No. 10: From babysitters and office goddesses to docs and inspirational strangers along the way, you've got to have support to run a marathon. Nobody does this alone!
Lesson No. 9: When the race coordinators tell you to take it slow and not try for a personal record because of a heat advisory, you need to listen.
Lesson No. 8: Slow beats the heck out of "did not finish" and "did not start!" You have to take the first step.
Lesson No. 7: Never underestimate the power of the kindness of a total stranger. They can really give you the pixie dust you need.
The best three signs of the day:
- The last 100 impress me more than the first 100
- Someday you may fail, but today is not that day!
- Chuck Norris never did a marathon
Lesson No. 6: When you put together a plan, remember that you thought it out and made it for a reason. Stick to your plan no matter how much excitement is going on around you.
Lesson No. 5: Never judge a book by its cover. A marathon is the great equalizer. Every body type was represented in the entire marathon. The one thing everyone had in common was absolute determination.
Lesson No. 4: Every person is on their own journey and is doing what they do for their own reason. Don't compare your journey to theirs.
Lesson No. 3: They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So does a journey of 26.2 miles. It has ups. It has downs. The only way to finish is to keep moving forward with the goal in mind.
Lesson No. 2: Once you make up your mind to do something, you can do it. But you had better prepare. You must train consistently, hydrate, realize that your attitude is everything, your nutrition matters and always keep focused on the goal.
Lesson No. 1: Life is much better with a supportive partner. When one is weak, the other is strong. When one falters, the other lifts up. Nothing is easy, but when you work at it together you can accomplish amazing feats.
We accomplished our goal and we did it together. That’s how partners and communities work. Whether it is a running community or our own community, these 10 lessons can make a better place for all of us. My hope now is to inspire a few of my fellow community members to pick a goal and go for it. Once you make up your mind to do it, nothing will stop you.
Our family has decided to make this an annual tradition. Next January, you should join us. There is an event for everyone. A 1-mile. A 5K. A 10K. A half marathon. A full marathon. And a Goofy Challenge (a half marathon on Saturday followed by a full one on Sunday).
And I know if you want to, you can do it, too.
Kennesaw City Councilwoman Cris Eaton-Welsh can be reached at 770-429-9733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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