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On Sunday, I watched the NYC marathon from a bunch of different points along the 26.219 route.
As usual, I purposely saved the finish line for my last stop. This is where the good stuff is. This is where the inspiration is.
People crossing the finish line 6+ hours into a marathon are not running through the finish line. They are barely jogging. Many are walking, usually limping, and in a lot of visible pain.
So, as I was watching person after person cross the finish line with their arms up in triumph, a recurring thought kept hitting me:
These people resolved that, no matter what, they were going to finish. No matter how long it took them, they'd cross that line!
In this journey of life, there aren't many cut and dry markers like start and finish lines.
However, there are a ton of marathons we choose to enter (whether we realize it or not).
Let's define a marathon in life as a process.
---> The reason why getting the body we want is so hard is because it's a process. Not an event.
Dating is a process. Building a company is a process. Establishing trust is a process. And getting the body we want is a process.
Events, on the other hand, are easier to manage, and get excited about.
For example, going to the gym is an event. We go, we exercise, and we're done. Events are usually harder to start but easier to keep on going once we start.
Weight loss, though, is a process. Processes are usually easier to start but much harder to keep on going. Weight loss requires us to show up each day, meal after meal. Processes consist of lots of events. (This is why having daily support and accountability is so important for weight loss. Otherwise, it's too easy to disappear.)
Hopefully, whatever marathons we choose to pursue are worthwhile ones. It's easier to get through the inevitable discomfort we'll face when we focus on the benefits. Of course having support makes all of the difference - and in fact, every runner I asked post marathon said the cheering of the crowd is what kept them going.
But here's the critical mistake so many of us make: If we're going to decide to start a marathon, let's decide up front that we will not quit when the going gets tough.
No matter what it takes, let's fight to back that commitment up.
Here's the thing:
When it's easy...it's easy. It's not always easy though.
There's going to be challenging days and weeks. There's going to be times when we don't feel like continuing. There's going to be times when we're bored. There's going to be times when we question everything. There's going to be tough times! This is inevitable.
It's "easy" to run the first few miles of the marathon. Some easily make it to mile 20 or so. But then "The Wall" hits. Success doesn't happen when it feels easy. Success happens when we hit the wall. (This is why I believe in our program so much. We're with you every single day, through the ups and downs giving you expert feedback and guidance, until you reach your goal.)
One of my friends is a couple's counselor. She has a flawless track record.
It's pretty simple. She asks them one question.
The one question that sets her apart and makes her successful is this:
At the very beginning, before the first session, she asks her patients: "Are you considering divorce?"
If the answer is yes, she refuses to take them on.
Because there really aren't degrees of commitment. As soon as we consider giving up on anything, we are looking for reasons to support that decision.
If we, instead, commit to a project, or mission, or marriage, then we look for reasons to stick with it.
And when it comes to our health and fitness the reasons to stick with it are endless.
P.S. As a product of divorced parents, I am in no way, shape or form advocating that parents should stick to their marriage, if it's not working. I think the best thing parents can do for their children is to be happy themselves (whether it's together or not). Although, people who are happier with themselves are usually in happier relationships. As they say, it takes one person to be in a happy relationship.
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