When the foreign becomes familiar


Last night, I scanned through a couple of my old blog posts, something I occasionally do to remind myself of what I once wrote, what I once thought.  I came across my post that I wrote after a 20 mile run before the Nike Women’s Marathon in October.

I mentioned how long the 20 mile run was, how exhausting and taxing training for a marathon is on the body and on the mind.  I honestly find it entertaining to look back and remember that feeling–the slight feeling of dread, the feeling of newness, the feeling of discomfort, and the feeling of fear.

Since that 20 mile run at the end of September, I have run two marathons and completed four training runs of at least 20 miles or more (2 20 miles, 1 23 mile, 1 26 mile)–this is mind-blowing to me because I realized:

What was once foreign has now become familiar.

How is it that only 5 months ago, the thought of a 20 mile run was something unheard of and uncommon, but now, my training alone for the LA Marathon called for 2 of those training runs?  That’s not to say that those 20 mile runs were not … long … hot … and exhausting.  And that’s definitely not to say that I didn’t wake up the morning of those runs, feeling a slight bit of dread because of the distance.  But now what I find amusing and what I personally find challenging during 20+ mile runs is not the distance itself … but the challenge to run faster–the challenge to find a new challenge.  My goals have changed, my thoughts have shifted.  

When something previously unknown–previously unfamiliar–becomes something we are accustomed to, the cycle must continue.   Comfort is the enemy of achievement.  If we are to continue to grow, to continue to be challenged, and to continue to find comfort in the uncomfortable, there should always be something foreign to us. Or else what?  We find ourselves at a standstill.  Let something else foreign surround you–and let the urge to explore and venture out of your comfort zone be the overwhelming sensation it is meant to be.



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