Brutal Beginnings

beginning

Isn’t that picture just so darn cute??  Look at the wittle chickies… I could just sit here and look at their cute little selves all day long.  Awwwww.  Here chickie chickie chickie…

Ok, sorry.  I’ll get to the point now.

So, I just finished the last long run of my half marathon training plan.  I’m 10 days away from the race, so it’s time to taper down and do shorter runs to give myself some rest in preparation for the big day.  I’m a little nervous since I missed a few weeks of training due to various life circumstances, but I think I’m ready.

There’s something I’ve learned in the past few weeks during these attempts at longer runs – if I can get past the first 3 miles, it’s all downhill from there.  Well, not literally downhill…but you know what I mean.  Because the beginning of a run?  Whew.  Let me tell ya.  I don’t care how long you’ve been running or how far you’re able to go – the beginning just flat-out sucks.  I’ve heard the saying a million times – the hardest step for a runner is the one out the front door.  That is so incredibly true.  (And those next few steps during the first couple of miles are no picnic either.)  Yes, the beginning is definitely the hardest.

And, think about it.  Isn’t it like that with most things?

For what was definitely not the first time, I began to think about the correlation between running and relationships.

Think about the beginning of a relationship.  Now, I’m not talking about the dating portion.  That part is usually awesome.  Everyone is putting on their best masks and presenting the finest portion of themselves.  So, of course, nothing can go wrong there.  There’s nothing not to like because all the negative is hidden under the costume.  So, no – it’s not dating I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about the beginning of the relationship.  The moment when you cross over into ‘potentially forever’ territory.

This is when it gets hard.

All of a sudden those things that were soooo cute before just aren’t so cute anymore.  His precious spontaneity turns into inability to make plans.  Her perfectly groomed makeup and hair turns into something that takes forever to achieve and makes you late for events.  His carefree attitude that was so fun before turns into him not being able to take anything serious.  Her loving adoration turns into suffocation.

Isn’t it funny how that happens?

The beginning is always the hardest. 

Now is when you have to make the decision to proceed.  Just the same as it is with running, you have to remember why you’re here and why you’re doing what you’re doing.  You’re taking a chance.  You’re putting effort into something that matters.  You know?  You wouldn’t be here if there wasn’t a reason.  The things worth having usually don’t come easy.  But, as it is with running, you wouldn’t be doing this if there wasn’t something inside you that knows that you need to.  You wouldn’t be training for your first 5k/10k/half marathon/marathon, whatever, if it wasn’t something that you were drawn to.  Something that you know deep down inside that you are truly capable of and something that you need to do in order to fulfill some part of you that has an empty space just for that.

See the correlation?

Don’t give up.  Hang in there.  This is just the hard part.  Push through this part and prepare yourself for what you’ve earned on the other side.  Like Dolly Parton says – “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”  And a little rain is not gonna kill you.

That rainbow is going to be so worth it.

***

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
– Henry Ford

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