Now that I have a clear idea of my goals for the next six weeks, it’s time for me to jump into the driver’s seat of my beautifully crafted marathon wagon and push through to the finish line. As much as I’d like to say that I am capable of pushing myself to the finish line and have always done things completely independently… I have to admit that outside motivation has been pretty essential for me in the past. Whether it’s a financial reward, a pair of new Prada pumps, or a new personal best… outside motivation has usually been a driving force or major signifier that a goal has finally been reached. I admire people who can summon internal strength (hello Olympians!) and go for their dreams, undeterred by anything that might try to block their way. Part of the most difficult part about distance running and endurance sports is the solitude and knowledge that you alone are propelling yourself forward. It’s empowering and humbling at the same time.
I stumbled across this video on YouTube not too long ago and have kept it bookmarked ever since. Everything said and shown in this video makes me want to strap on my running shoes and bang out 26.2 miles right now - and not because there is a prize waiting at the finish line. Eric Thomas says, “most of you say you want to be successful, but you don’t want it bad. You just kind of want it.” Most of us say we want something, but we don’t want it as bad as we want other things or experiences: a car, a party, a puppy, a medal. In order to be successful, you have to dig deep and find the motivation to keep going while keeping those external factors at bay.
With this speech, Thomas reminds those of us with big goals and even bigger dreams to look inside and dig deep to become the best you can be and achieve success: Don’t quit. Get out of bed. Do what others can only dream of. Don’t go to sleep on your goals until you succeed. Don’t do it until the goal becomes all that is left. Make what was impossible possible. This video takes my external motivators out the picture by empowering me to get busy on becoming a better version of myself right now. Not tomorrow. Not after a nap. Not after lunch. Not when I’ve saved up enough money for those shoes I want. Now (Even though I’d give my right arm for a gluten-free brownie the size of my face. Right now. Whole 30 Countdown: Five. More. Days.).