Jan 11, 2015

A word on motivation


I ran my first marathon the weekend before i started at Etsy, in October 2012.  It was one of the most ambitious things I’ve ever done, and honestly it was a miserable and yet totally empowering experience.  As hard as that that much running can be, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Truthfully, I wouldn’t have even thought to run that marathon if it hadn’t have been for an audiobook a coworker from a former life sent me in an email: ‘Born to Run’.  There’s a good chance that you’ve heard of it before, as it was quite popular when it was first published. Barefoot shoes and chia seeds can trace their recent surge in popularity back to it’s release.  

Find it, download it, listen to it. 

I don’t know what it was about this book in particular that I found so inspiring.  It was one of the first audiobooks that I listened to — it’s possible the novelty of having someone else tell you a story made it more inspiring.  Whatever the reason, it was good.  The author has some powerful things to say about the limits of human endurance, and, inadvertently perhaps, makes you question the boundaries you’ve drawn for yourself, your own limits.  For me, I got curious about pushing them.  I hope you’ll find the same motivation from it.

Honestly, I think that when a lot of people look at me, they see someone that’s “always been a runner” or “always been athletic”.  It’s a false impression.  I worked real hard to be a runner.  I may have the ‘body type’ for it, but my temperament is ill-suited to it.  I was a part of the running team in high school through sheer willpower; the biggest award I ever won in racing was “most improved”. 

All this to say, before I listened to that audiobook, the longest I had ever ran consecutively was probably 6 miles, if that.  6 miles sounds like a lot, and it is.  But when put in context, it’s less than 1/4 of a marathon.  I had a long way to go when I finally started logging miles in the summer of 2012.


I’m not sure what it was, but after hearing the stories of the characters in that book, I knew I too could run far.  

Confidence can take you a long way.

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