Stay in the Race. It's Not Painful Forever.
Have you ever started a new project, a new business, or a new relationship and realized, when it's too late to turn back, that you're in a little over your head? Many of you know what I'm talking about and it is a defining moment. Frankly, if you haven't had that moment you aren't pushing hard enough. Most people will run away before they hit that point of no return because the force of fear is too great. For many of you though, you make the decision to take control and in the theater of battle, to wrangle the uncertainty. Why do you do it?
Last Sunday I stepped into a different theater at the Lord Hill 50K trail race outside of Seattle, WA. It's a pretty tough course (5,100 feet of elevation gain) and it was super muddy. Three loops of just over 10 miles each. I finished the first two loops and was in third place. I was hurting. I hadn't run that hard or far in awhile and my knees hurt and my stomach was a mess. But I had finished two-thirds of the race. I wasn't going to stop. Lots of dark thoughts go through your head when you're tired and on the trail. "What the hell am I thinking? I'm never going to do this again. I hate running." But I kept reminding myself that the only thing that matters is that I keep moving and when I keep moving forward, I am closer to the finish. Just keep moving. It's what I do. You would likely do the same. I finished eighth. I finished.
We keep moving forward because it's a competitive advantage. Others will bow out of the race because it's too uncomfortable but you'll stay in. You know that endurance is what separates you from everyone else and that when all of your senses tell you to stop, you push through because you know that it's never painful forever. It is in those moments where we learn the most about ourselves and test the standard we set for how we want to live our life.