I’ve given myself a new challenge this year: to qualify for the Boston Marathon. It’s been a while since I’ve run any races, but running amongst the endless amount of trails in Squamish has sparked my interest yet again. The only catch is this: I have to somehow become 6 minutes faster than my last Boston race. Somehow. They’ve upped the anti, and made it that much tougher to qualify. Jeff has been challenging me to run some gnarly hills, which the previous city-me avoided like the plague. Why? Because they’re hard. They’re tough, and they’re not exactly fun. It’s tough to ignore them now, living in Squamish – they’re everywhere. So that’s my plan. Hills. And lots of them. 6 minutes faster. Lots and lots of hills.
The other day we headed up with our snowshoes to run a challenging loop. The snow was up to our knees. Wet, thick and heavy west coast snow. A quarter way in, my pouty face showed up. A few minutes later, the wining and complaining had begun. And then there was the stop still in my tracks: “this is too *$^&ing HARD!” that came out of my mouth. Sexy, right? Right. He laughed, which made me laugh and I was thankfully able to shake it off. I was still pissed and brought my pouty face with me most of the rest of the way, but somehow managed to finish.
The next day, I decided I wanted to try it again. I wasn’t going to let this stupid snow-packed hill win. So we ixnayed the snowshoes and headed out yet again. This time, even worse. There were no other tracks. Just ours from the day before, which had been iced over. Great. My shins were becoming raw from the icy snow top of the too-much-stupid-snow hill. I began to pout (again) and yelled (again), “this SUCKS!”. Thankfully, I have a boyfriend who challenges me and isn’t afraid to tell me to suck it up every once and a while: “Why do you think there are no other tracks out here?”, he asked as I stared back at him dumbfoundedly and still pissed, “because it IS hard”. Very true. Very, very true.
If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to put in some effort. If you want to get a little bit farther, if you want to reach farther than the norm, you have to put in a whole bunch more effort than the average person would. How do you think successful people got to where they are? They worked hard. They sacrificed. They went the extra mile. They went just a little bit farther. Maybe they even had raw shins from too much icy-snow. Either way, they did it. They went where it was a little too tough for anyone else. Where it was uncomfortable and scary. Where it challenged them to their limits. But they did it. And ask anyone of them, the rewards were worth it. They always are.
If you want something bad enough, reach farther. Just a little bit farther. Be a little bit different. Choose a different path, take a different route. You might not notice a lot of other tracks or other people following you along the way, but when you get to the top? Where you want to be? They’ll be watching in awe. Encouraged. Inspired. They’ll ask you what you did different. You’ll smile modestly and say, I went just a little bit farther.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Smile with your heart
(Pictures are from Tricouni Peak, Squamish)