The Friday before race day came and I was surprised with a little encouragement on my office door. One of the 5th grade classrooms left me a message.
No backing out now I thought. I can't let them down. They even asked me to send a picture when I finished!
The morning of the run, I still wasn't feeling it. Met the group at 6:00 am - dark, rainy, windy, and did I mention, the day our clocks sprung forward?! Still a part of me wanted to back out, but I didn't. I had a group with me and we were going to do it together.
I finished the 1/2 marathon that day. I could say it was amazing, but I'd be lying. I could say it was horrible, but that would be a lie as well. But you know what? I enjoyed it and I am glad I did it. I enjoyed being with friends; running with them and seeing others run along the course too. I enjoyed the laughs and conversations. I enjoyed crossing the finish line.
As requested by the 5th graders, I took my medal to work the next day. I stopped by their room and told them about the run. I shared my story and the lessons I learned from it.
* Accountability - It can provide motivation and push you to give something everything you got. I wanted to back out before the race even began, but I knew I had the students and my running group to hold me accountable. They were expecting me to accomplish the goal I set for myself.
* Support and Encouragement - I felt that there were times I struggled along the way but someone was there to pick me up. Whether it was a friend running with me, friends cheering along the way, or remembering the encouraging words from students, friends and family at home, I felt the support. They knew I could do it. They believed in me.
* Perseverance - There was a point near the end that I wanted to stop and walk. A mile left and I was sore, wet, and cold. The wind was crazy, but I kept going.
Looking at these three things, not only did they help me reach my goal of completing the half marathon, but they are things that can help me accomplish goals I set for myself in all aspects of life.
Sharing goals with others can help them hold you accountable. Having a network to support and encourage you can motivate and inspire you. Persevering through difficult times will ultimately get you to where you want to be.