There is nothing like waking up to this!
I got really inspired today reading a friend's post (http://www.cjwomack.blogspot.com/). "Macker," as we call him, described his journey to qualify for Boston. As with most running stories, it becomes less about the running and more about the personal quest - the emotional, mental and spiritual components that factor into meeting a goal that you once thought impossible.
Reading Macker's story reminded me of something important. When we have goals and know other people who have reached the goals that we have, sometimes we tend to oversimplify. We see people where we want to be and think that it must have been easy for them, and that it is not so easy for us. I knew my friend Macker qualified for and ran Boston and that he was faster than you average runner. I always assumed he came out of the womb that way, born to run. I differentiated myself from people like Macker, thinking that running is not natural for me, I am not gifted as a runner, I have to WORK hard for my results. But when I read Macker's post, I realized that he worked very hard for his results and the victories did not always come easy. He tweaked his running style along the way, he ran several marathons before qualifying, that he went through times in his life where he did not run as much.
The lesson is that few people achieve big goals effortlessly. Some people have natural talents that others do not, but most people have to work hard for what they have. Most people have "failed" several times or have been rejected several times before reaching their goal. Intellectually, we all know this, but sometimes we talk ourselves out of it, deciding that it is just us who has hardships. No, it is ALL of us, everyday.
This isn't just about running. That married couple who looks so happy on the surface? They have probably worked hard to maintain that happiness and may have even gone through a time that threatened their marriage. Who knows, what you see may not actually be the truth of what is going on. That person who is in your dream job? They likely had to put in many hours paying their dues, suffering through bosses they didn't like, and working long hours.
Most things worth having and accomplishing do not come easy. That is what makes the victory so amazing. For me, that's the high of running a marathon. Something in the human spirit sings when you go further than you thought was possible.