I have found the when I begin a run or an exercise class regardless of my level of conditioning I hear the question in my head, "Can you finish this class?" Inevitably, I do, but there always seems to be that question. It usually creeps up in the first 5-10 minutes of what ever I am doing, spin class, aerobics class, or a run. There is a little voice that assesses my comfort level and tells me, you might be more comfortable taking it a little easier. But I continue on pushing myself a little more. Cranking down the resistance, or picking up the pace. Then I reach a comfort level.
When I am running I find the time to get to that comfort zone a little longer. Usually somewhere around 2-3 miles. But once you get into that rhythm, passed that threshold, I am fine. Getting there is the challenge.
I know in my heart that this is what I need to be doing. This effort will pay great dividends in the long run. But it is always a challenge of myself that I fight to continue on. Sometimes my effort is due to my desire to not wimp out. I have to keep going to save face. But then I realize, how superficial that is. I realize that I must find it somewhere else in my body to continue on. That usually is my heart. And I press on.
In my office is a picture of a lone runner running up a hill. It is labeled perseverance. The caption reads, "On the road to success, there is no crowd on the extra mile." How true. That the greatest challenge we face may be that first step of the journey wherever we are headed or being able to look ourselves in the eye.
I leave with this. Tori Murden McClure was the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic. During a radio telephone interview while at sea, the reporter asked Tori why she did this. Tori's answer was, "When I get to the end of life, I want to know that I asked enough of myself." I guess I am that same way. I need to press on and know that the effort I put forth asked enough of myself.