You've Gotta Start Somewhere
A few years ago, my sister and I decided that we were going to run a half marathon as a sister bonding activity, and also, I’m the kind of person who needs an end goal to even get started. I’m also a huge fan of end goals not being centered around the number of weight I need to lose, rather something I can go do and if weight loss is a side effect, AMEN. Am I right? Either way, we trained and ran a half marathon. Training was pretty hard and I definitely wish I would’ve trained more, but we did it and finished in under 3 hours; which was another goal we had.
After that experience, I decided that I was a runner. I was a runner who had completed a half marathon; it was my badge of honor. It was the thing I loved to brag about when I didn’t know what else to say. I always seemed to find a way to throw it into conversation. Running was my thing. Funny enough though, after that race, it was hard for me to lock down another one because of the season of life I was in. So, I became a runner who barely trained.
Taylor and I got married in August 2018, and after that we both gained like 20lbs, for multiple reasons. Getting used to being married, moving halfway across the country, working from home, eating garbage food, and finally, not working out. Needless to say, we had both gotten a little chunky. Well, in January 2019, we decided to change it up. I started to train for a half marathon again, and oh my goodness was it hard. I trained 3-4 days a week then cross-trained in the gym on the other days, and by March, my long runs had been about an hour and 30 minutes long. Needless to say, I felt like I was kicking butt.
The one thing I didn’t account for however, was Georgia summer and the heat that comes with it. Fun fact, I get overheated very easily and tend to pass out, so, running in the heat isn’t really my jam. I had to stop training for the majority of the summer. A few months later, on August 1st, I started my training again. My first run was about .6 miles and a 12:34 pace--I was working really hard. You guys, if you don’t know much about running, that’s very slow and not very far.
In the second half of that run, I kind of started to beat myself up for my lack of stamina, but then I realized, you’ve gotta start somewhere.
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably starting to wonder if this is going to be all about running, or if I’m starting a fitness blog; well, it’s not going to be and, I’m not. This is about just getting off the couch and getting started, and keeping in mind that however your start looks, it’s ok. I think a lot of us do what I did on my run. I think we judge our start based off of our past, what we think it should look like, or we also judge it based off someone else's middle or end.
If you’re deciding to start a company, it’s not going to look exactly like however so-and-so started theirs. If you’re starting your fitness journey, you’re not going to have abs after one 30 minute work out. If you decide to run, you won’t be able to run a marathon on your first day out. And you know what, it’s ok. If at the start you were already perfect, you’d never learn anything. Heck, I’ll go even further to say, it’s not really even about the finish, it’s more about what you learned on your journey to get there.
At the end of the day, I think it all comes down to grace and perseverance. Getting started is not easy, but once you’ve started is when you really need grace for the process and the perseverance to keep going.
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
“And endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
The thing is, it can be hard to get started, and harder to continue, but I think this quote from A League of Their Own sums it up perfectly: “If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” Be proud of yourself when you start, and be proud of everything you accomplish and learn on the journey. Each piece of your process serves a purpose.