I’ve always looked at Olympic runners or Tour de France cyclists as though they were another species, as if born from another planet. When I think of the training and discipline they must go through it seems unreal. But truly, they had to begin somewhere, somehow. They must have had countless moments (many) where they felt like giving up. They must have felt defeated when they were tired, or their bodies were betraying them. It never really occurred to me that at some point, when they were giving it 90%, the “monkey chatter” in their minds might tell them to slow down, or quit even. When I realized that they too are human and have the same thoughts play in their heads, I gained a perspective that I hadn’t considered. There are times I too want to say “forget it” to my workout routine or “ok, I’ll have some cheesy ooy gooy pizza” at a random unplanned outing. To be the healthy person we want to be however, in those moments, we are defined by how we will either move closer to our health goals or further away. In these times which can be every day, we can push through the extra 10% or give in. The amazing fact is it is always up to us.
For some of us, that 90% effort is too much, the thought of 50% is really our 100%, and that’s ok too. Because when we give our individual best effort, it gets easier day after day. What we couldn’t achieve a year ago, we can now do easily but that only comes with daily perseverance.
So when I contemplate on the Olympic runner, I think that their first mile was probably hard, their second mile even harder; but somewhere that became an achievable routine because in the moment they considered giving in, they didn’t plain and simple. The question is “will you?”