Enjoying the Journey

Those who know me, know that I listen to Joel Osteen every morning on my way to work.  I absolutely love his inspirational messages and it’s a great way to start the day.  Today the topic was enjoying the journey.  Joel told the story of a famous pro-football player who, after many years of hard work and dedication, finally won the super bowl. You would think at that moment he would have felt invincible.  I mean this is what the man has dreamed of for years! But in that moment, he kind of felt like, is this it? Yes, he was happy but he thought it would mean more.

Funny, because I can say the same about crossing the finish line at my races.  After I crossed the finish line at Marine Corps Marathon this fall, did I fall down dramatically on my knees, with my arms raised in the air in glory like in the movies? Not even close! Of course I was happy and extremely proud, but those feelings quickly pass. Actually, when I think back I cannot remember any particular highlights from my finishes.  What I do remember however, are those small moments during my training…the journey. It’s those moments that bring fulfillment. A few examples of this would be:

  • Stopping in the Nature Center on NCR Trail in the middle of a long run. Why was this memorable?  Well lets just say this guide came out of nowhere and held a looonngg snake in front of my face asking if I wanted to hold it.  I quickly bolted out and had everyone roaring with laughter.  I did stick around for a minute and the guide and I got into an interesting conversation about snakes in the local area. It was definitely a funny and enlightening experience!
  • Appreciating mother nature during a run.  I very rarely run on a treadmill. I love taking in the beauty of mother nature; running in freshly fallen snow, hopping in large rain puddles, seeing the beautiful stars on a clear (and early) morning, seeing all the baby foxes and deer.
  • Small accomplishments within a run such as finally running up a monster hill or hitting a certain pace and remembering how strong I felt.
  • The social aspect.  It means so much to me when my boyfriend comes and spectates my races. I remember how I felt when I would see him. Or when random friendships are created from hanging out before the start of a race when everyone is on the shuttle bus trying to wake up. Or when talking and laughing with my running partner during a cold and dark run. Or Coaching someone and seeing their progress.

Friends, there will always be “the next thing.”  And there’s nothing wrong with setting goals and accomplishing them.  But just don’t forget to appreciate everything in-between.

I saw the quote below at a conference I attended this past fall.

Quote

“I am not any good at (blank), yet.” By adding the simple word “yet”, you are creating the journey. You are setting forth a goal and then writing out the steps to get there.  The word “yet” adds that excitement and element of a challenge!

So, what are you not any good at, yet? 😉