Here are some lessons I've learned about life from distance running:
1. You can't do it if you're not willing to take the first step - Too often I hear people say "I could never do that." The truth is, you can't if you're not willing to try. If you want it, you can accomplish it and that's the bottom line.
2. You probably won't win, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't do/try it - This is so applicable to life. There will always be someone smarter, faster, thinner, etc. Don't let that be an excuse for not fulfilling your dreams.
3. Our bodies are capable to do a lot more than we think. - If you're willing to test and push your body, you'll be amazed at what it can do. Put it to the test!
4. Consistent, hard work produces really great results and rewards. - If you're willing to put in a lot of hard work, great things happen. I never thought I could do a marathon until one day I decided to give it a try and I did it. After I finished I wanted to do better so a year later, I ran one again, but this time over an hour faster than my first.
5. Do hard things. - Running/life is really hard. Don't stop even when it's hard because if you keep at it, you'll have some precious moments that make it all worth it. It doesn't always get easier, but your ability to overcome and withstand grows stronger.
6. Hidden inside all of us is an incredible inner strength and mental toughness. - If you're willing to harness that strength you will amaze yourself often by what you're capable of.
7. You'll fall down sometimes, but get back up and keep going. - Sometimes the greatest gifts/moments come after we've fallen hard.
8. A good support system makes things a lot easier. - It helps a lot to have family and friends who stick by your side, but if you don't have that you can still accomplish great things and you'll find cheerleaders eventually.
9. The things you work the hardest for mean the most. - This comes from one of my favorite quotes from Thomas Paine, "What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly."
My favorite lesson of all:
10. Once you believe in yourself great things happen. - When you put yourself to the test you'll amaze yourself and you'll find a new confidence you never knew was there. Once you truly believe in yourself, all the negativity around you just doesn't matter much anymore.
Go after your dreams. Enjoy your life and be happy! And remember, happiness is a choice