In March 2013 I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC marathon. Although my performance wasn’t spectacular, something happened there that will stick with me always.
Running the 26.2 miles of a marathon is quite an experience. Elite athletes cover the course in a little over two hours. For the average Joe or Jill, four hours is good, and a time of five hours or more is quite common. Yeah, that’s a lot of running. It can be daunting.
Moments after crossing the finish line that morning, a woman I’d never met, who had also just completed the event, tapped my shoulder. “Thank you so much,” she exclaimed, giving me a hug. I had no idea what I’d done to deserve that, so I asked.
The woman explained that this was her first marathon, and she was afraid she wouldn’t get to the end. She kept herself motivated by following right behind me the entire way, beginning from the first few yards. “Why me?” I asked, to which she replied, “Because you looked like somebody who was going to make it.”
Completing a marathon is never easy. But I had done it several times before and was sure I could do it that day. I’d trained hard, followed the advice of my coach – including a strict nutrition plan, and knew there was a group of friends back home, cheering. Indeed, there were pain, suffering, mental and physical struggles involved. But I was determined to push through, and I guess it showed.
People’s lives are filled with challenges. Their eyes and spirits search the horizon for a stable harbor during storms of uncertainty. If you or I want to be the type of person who provides that stability, we’ll have to take some specific steps. Like training our minds to find the positives, nurturing our spirits, relying on past successes, engaging with a mentor, surrounding ourselves with the right influencers, etc.
Each of us has the wonderful opportunity to lead others, inspiring them to face their situations with courage. Life is an endurance event. Despite its difficulties, let’s do what’s necessary so we can look like somebody who’s going to make it.
(P.S. … If it’s just too tough right now, hit me up and let’s talk.)
5 comments on “Look Like You’ll Make It” Add yours →
Well done, Steve – and wonderfully insightful about the human condition. We often underestimate our impact on other people, especially the positive influence we can have. Every step we take to grow towards our full potential is a gift that keeps on giving to ourselves and to others.
So true that we underestimate our impact on others! Our organization began helping a mother homeschool her special needs son. She was very studious, had lots of questions and needed hand holding for months to establish her home-education program. A year later she told me how the experience helped her son excel, saved her marriage and she became a block mother and impacted the whole neighborhood! Every day we all need to live open-endedly. Anticipate that ripples are being formed. Dream of the possible avenues being paved by …. just you.
You never know how just your actions may make a real difference in someone’s life.
Sometimes the smallest things can make a great difference……
One of your best writings yet!
Inspirational and timely, plus love the story.
Reinforces that sometime your leading and sometimes your following.
Yet, you both can realize your personal goals regardless of roles you have in race.
Thank you Steve- this was just what I needed to read today. We have the choice at every moment to be ” the one” or to be the one that falls victim to the negative self talk and the negativity around us. I appreciate your voice in prompting us to be the ones that shows others- we can all make it.