In 2004, to “celebrate” — using the term loosely — my 40th birthday, I trained to run the Top of Utah Marathon. One of my good high school friends, Jill Evans and I planned the event. Sam and my sister, Nora, joined us.
A few days before the event, we discussed final details. Nora’s husband, Bret, was coming along, He wasn’t going to run, but stay overnight with us and cheer us on. He planned to station himself at the 13-mile marker to wait and see if Nora wanted to quit there or keep going.
When we hear this, Sam said, “With Alison, quitting is never an option.”
Now it’s true that I’m stubborn and sometimes push through with plans even when it’s not reasonable. But to this day I still see that as the greatest compliment he could pay me. He knew I would finish the marathon or die trying. Even though I’d never run more than a 5k in my life. Even though I was less than a year out from having our sixth baby. Even though most real runners don’t even run marathons. He knew that when I firmly set a goal, I complete it.
According to Gary Ryan Blair:
Being relentless is a commitment that stand’s in the face of obstacles, hardships, temptations, financial difficulties, failing physical health, and even broken relationships.
And there’s the rub. Firmly setting a goal is a mental activity. It’s not just wishing or thinking. It’s not just planning. And, as important as it is, it’s not even just writing it down. A solid commitment to a goal happens only when we refuse to accept the status quo any longer.
In the case of the marathon, I did finish it.
It was a slow painful process, but the path was clear. Keep putting one foot in front of the other — even when you’re exhausted, even when the pack pulls away leaving you in the dust, even when you get blisters, even when you see much younger and fitter folks drop out, even when they feel like wooden logs pounding on the pavement, jarring through to your bones with every step (that happened at about mile 21). Just keep plodding along. Many of our goals are like that.
But in the case of the former, succeeding is a matter of continued progress and in the case of the later, every failed path can teach us and get us closer to our dreams.
Does your behavior demonstrate a relentless determination?
Join me in the 100 Day Challenge!