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Pushing The Limits

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence – that will enable you to attain the success you seek.

Almost 50,000 people ran 26.2 miles throughout the five boroughs of Manhattan today. My husband, Joe, was one of them. Three years ago, when he first told me he wanted to run the Marathon, I probably thought it was a fleeting goal. I mean, we all have them right? Sure, I would love to run the marathon too, shoot, I would love to run more than a mile! I would also love to be a certified yoga teacher, rock climb, learn to do a triple axle on ice, learn how to ride a horse, learn sign language, or get my pilots license. However, the daily grind starts it churn and these dreams get left on the sidelines. They may even get started, or researched, but often get put aside in that “one day” category. So when my husband first mentioned running the marathon, I thought, sure, one day. Even when he became a Road runners member and started doing the smaller races so he could qualify, I still thought, well, this is great exercise, but the marathon is a different beast. Then he really started training.

I must admit, there were days that I may have been resentful of his 2-3 hour runs, or bike rides. I mean, he gets to go out and exercise, enjoy the weather, and I am left at home to clean, cook, take care of Bella, and such. I could list off all the chores, and I have, that I took over, so he can get in his training time. Then he would be tired, want to go to bed early. Obsessed with healthy protein smoothies every day. Our every day conversation turned into the ingredients in his smoothie (chia seeds or Maca powder today?), or how many calories he burned on the run that day. These last few weeks, I have to say, I got a bit tired of hearing about the training, and the smoothies. Part jealous, part resentment, and partly ignorant to the goal my husband really set in the 26.2 miles he committed to run.

A decade ago Joe and I biked the Paradise Ride in Hawaii. It was almost 400 miles over 6 days and four islands in Hawaii. We trained a little bit before we went and we raised a great deal of funds for the cause. Yet, when we were biking there, up the mountains of Maui, and against the trade-winds of Malakai, it was hard. I also remember the adrenaline and excitement of the ride, the beauty surrounding us, the strength and support of our fellow riders, and the feeling that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. When it was hard, when I wanted to stop or give up, that is the moment you take a deep breath and pedal harder. Your exhausted, in pain, but if you push through what feels like that threshold, keep pushing, you find a sweet spot of freedom, and exhilaration like no other. That rush is addictive, because every morning I went back to my bike and pushed through the pain and fear, and every night I felt stronger and prouder of myself than I ever did. Everyone should experience that, pushing past what you think your limit is, and then the euphoria on the other side.

10 years later, I still ride my bike, I teach dance and walk a lot, and do yoga. I keep fit, but I am sad to say that since the Paradise Ride I have not pushed myself again in such a way. Today watching my husband go farther than he has ever gone, keeping a great time, and pushing past his limits. I was so proud, and I remember that euphoria. I had forgotten it. I have always been supportive of his goal to run the marathon. However, until today I cannot say I truly understood it. Watching all those people literally throw their fears to the wind, and continue through pain and fatigue, and find that sweet spot on the other side. That spot where they are elated, adrenaline coursing through, and unstoppable. I am inspired. I understand now, and Joe, I am so proud of you for setting this goal and being determined enough to follow it through. What a great example to our daughter, and what a great inspiration to me.

Now, I can’t do them all at once, but I am working on setting my own goal again. Who knows, maybe I will sign up for horse riding or ice skating lessons. I need to think a little, but I am renewed in my belief that I still have my own limits to set

and then exceed as well. Bring it on!

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