Imagine two mountains separated by a body of water.  Crossing to the other side requires scaling down your own mountain, rowing past thunderous waves, and finally climbing up to the top of your dream mountain.  You want to live amongst the brave and strong people who pioneered the route.  But it’s a hell of a lot easier to stay on the mountain where you were born, envying (and judging) the others across the water.  What makes you think you could ever live amongst them?  It’s not too late to quit.  Or is it?

I was surprised by the amount of people who commented on the first step of my journey, online and in person.  Family, friends, and acquaintances were all supportive.  Which I really appreciate!  But interestingly enough, many people’s responses fell along these lines:  “That’s great but are you really gonna run an actual marathon?” Or “As long as you keep writing, it’s ok if you don’t actually run a marathon.”  And my favorite “Why would you want to torture yourself?” 🙂

I appreciate being given the benefit of the doubt, and an easy out in case it doesn’t work out.  Seriously I might fail, and then I’ll need some support to deal with it.  I might “only” run a half-marathon-which would still be a major accomplishment for me.  The truth is I can’t picture myself actually running and racing for over 26 miles.  And when the stresses of life hit, as they always do for everyone, I’ll have an easy excuse to hide behind.  So if I can’t imagine myself crossing that elusive finish line, how can I expect anyone else to believe it?

The few runners that I know give me hope.  I got some practical advice from them, and now I know who to annoy with all the questions that will come up during the journey. 🙂  But most importantly, it’s really inspiring to have real people who have run marathons believe in you.  They say things like “You’ll feel so amazing when you accomplish your goal.”  Or “You can definitely do it.”  And my new favorite “With proper training, the running isn’t the hard part.  Becoming mentally strong enough to handle it is.”  That’s a tough pill to swallow!  If I visualize myself training, does that count as a workout? 🙂

Whether it’s running or writing, my challenge will be disciplining myself to consistently put in the time and effort to reach my goals.  Mental toughness has got to be earned the hard way apparently.  But I’m starting to believe that I can get to the mountain on the other side.