That’s me over there in the white shirt. Six days ago. It was a day that I had worked toward since ~ March. I’ve done this every year since 2010. For about 15 minutes after the marathon, I was sure that it was my last. I ran a 1/2 marathon about 3 weeks ago, and it was amazing. I loved it. I was downright gleeful afterward. Not so after 26.2 – especially NYC, which has a very difficult last 5 miles. Just walking the ~ 3/4 mile after the finish was painful. Why do I do this every year?
That’s it. If you know someone who has run a marathon, you know a person who has chosen to find both of these within themselves.
Notice that I don’t say that these people HAVE resilience or HAVE Discipline. As Carol Dweck describes in Mindset, resilience is a core component of human success. We can learn resilience, and we can un-learn resilience. Every day – we are offered opportunities to give up, ease back, let it slide, be sad, be angry, or stop trying to do our best. Do you struggle with these challenges? Yeh – I thought so. Me too.
Discipline, not unlike resilience, is hard to find, hard to maintain, and easy to lose. In a world burdened by attention deficit trait (warning: pdf), it’s easy to get sidetracked away from the good habits we try to build.
It’s impossible to run a marathon without both of these. The marathon is – for me – a way to keep myself focused enough, resilient enough, and disciplined enough to get it done – whatever “it” is today.
You can too. What’s your marathon?