Sticking With It

Shannon Wilkinson finishes her first marathon, the 40th Portland MarathonOn Wednesday, I’m running a half marathon, the Foot Traffic Flat. It’s in a beautiful area and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous. But I’m a little concerned.

There’s this thing that happens to me on every long run.

But it doesn’t just happen with runs. It happens every time I start my daily 750 words writing. A long project. Anything that takes more than about 30 seconds attention.

I start out enthusiastic, or at least ready to get it done. That excitement holds for a certain period of time. But then I start looking at my miles or word count or task list, and suddenly it gets hard. It seems like there’s no way I can sustain my effort for as long as it’s going to take.

Can I even finish?

Even though I’ve experienced this more times than I’d like to admit, it still surprises me. Sneaks up on me and suddenly is right there whispering in my ear.

“You still have eight miles to go. It’s so far.”

“You still have 600 words to go. It’s too much.”

“You still have a page of tasks left to complete. It’s more than you can do.”

But I know the truth.

It might be far, it might be a lot, it might be more than I can do, and yet, I’m not done yet. At this moment it’s still possible for me to do more. I’m not finished.

Bring in the cavalry.

And that’s when I tap in to the things that inspire me, support me.

I check in with the people in my corner. I cheer myself on. I play mind games. I remind myself about the reason I wanted to do it in the first place.

And then, before I know it, I’m in the homestretch. I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I only have another mile, another hundred words, another task or two.

And that seems possible. I’ve come this far, I can finish it.

Then, I celebrate. And on Wednesday, it will be with Strawberry Shortcake.

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