I was reading earlier today and in the book I'm reading, the author gives a piece of advice to some young women (it's a memoir and she's speaking at a conference when she dispenses the advice), and the advice she offers to help make life more rewarding and, ultimately, more worthwhile is to do something hard. It really struck a chord with me: Do something hard.
It's probably human nature, or animal nature, to drift into the actions, thoughts, and ideas that are easiest and offer the least resistance -- it makes for smooth sailing, but we all know that, truthfully, "easy" often equals "boring." This is probably how so many end up in mid-life feeling disappointed, disillusioned, and dissatisfied. I am no where near mid-life, and I can't say I am any of the three D's, but I do know that part of this running business, and especially this marathon business, is about adding meaning to my life by accomplishing something hard. For me, I can think of few things that seem harder than running 26.2 miles, and it must be the idea of it's difficulty that also adds to the hope that it will be rewarding.
Every once in a while, I get frustrated with running and feel as though I make little progress or improvement, but then I am reminded that running is hard and that it takes time and dedication to master and to improve upon. And, as with most things that take time and dedication and that are just plain hard, I have confidence that this endeavor will be rewarding and satisfying.
I suppose it's the lessen my parents tried to teach me when they made me work to pay for my first car; I would appreciate it more if I had to work for it (it was my parents' firm belief that children who were bestowed everything in life were those who came to be the dissatisified -- I guess that's supposed to make me feel better that some people always get what they want with ease). Grudgingly, I can now see the wisdom in my parents' lessen, and I can see how it applies to my running, and, really, to my life.
Right now, running this marathon in January is my version of doing something hard. Perhaps it will be just the beginning, I don't know, maybe it's a whole road of "hard" to finish happy.