If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done!
I LOVE this quote by Thomas Jefferson:
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must do something you’ve never done.”
I first found it on a wooden sign at a Buc-ee’s (It’s a Texas thing). Yep! I enjoy browsing Buc-ee’s. It has the cleanest restrooms & coolest t-shirts, hats, cooking gadgets, candles, signs and more. If you haven’t been to one, I highly recommend you do, when you have the chance. It’s a “gas station” the size of a department store with just as many treasures to buy.
I did a quick search, and it looks like they’ve got 35 locations, and only one is outside of Texas. And it’s in Alabama. God bless the south. 🙂
Back to my sign…I found it at Buc-ee’s and bought it. It proudly displays the quote from Thomas Jefferson, and I’ve had the benefit of gazing at it, above my desk in my home office for years.
I found the quote very approachable and clear but also noteworthy for just about every valuable journey I’ve been on throughout my life, to date.
I’ve upgraded, lost and changed jobs and job titles while admiring this quote in my office. I’ve read it outloud, countless times, to convince myself, God and anyone else listening that I was doing just that…something I’d never done so that I could have something I’d never had.
I’ve observed that working towards something you’ve never had by doing something you’ve never done requires a lot of heart, a lot of growing and lots of grit.
It’s true that anything worth having comes at a price and usually requires a sacrifice to go along with it.
There have been more than a few times were I’ve agreed to the “price” and halfway through the sacrifice decided it wasn’t worth the cost. But I only thought that because the journey was hard, and hard is uncomfortable. I don’t always feel like being uncomfortable, do you?
Even when I’m uncomfortable with something, I do it anyway. Sometimes it seems like all I do are uncomfortable things. I dig in and get it done. That’s the way I am hardwired. I truly don’t know any other way.
Let me give you an example…
I trained for my first marathon about 15 years ago. Training for this marathon was honestly such fun! I signed-up to run with with a local running club. I made friends. I pushed myself to the brink both physically & mentally and found out what I was made of (yes, that’s fun for me, but hang with me a bit longer).
There are countless marathon training programs out there, but the one we were using only had us run up to 22 miles on our longest run. And we all know that a marathon is 26.2 miles (well if you didn’t before, you do now). But the logic here actually makes complete sense, once you can run 22 miles, you can absolutely run 26.2.
To be honest, ever single step (for most runners) from mile 20 forward is ALL heart. Totally true. So, if you can run 22 miles, you can run 26.2 no doubt.
You see, each time you set about to do a long run, let’s say anything over 15 miles, you put yourself at a greater risk of injury. And if you injure yourself within weeks of a marathon, you’re pretty much toast.
Therefore, 22 miles as your longest run, up to the actual race, is a pretty solid plan. AND each and every step from mile 20 forward is ALL heart. Both are true.
There comes a point in a runner’s marathon training and in every runners’ actual race where they “hit the wall.” Have you heard that saying?
It’s like this…you’re running, running, running, running, running…and may even be feeling fit and energetic…when all of a sudden you hit the proverbial wall.
Imagine what it would feel like to run into a real brick wall and multiply that by 592!
When you hit that wall you quite literally feel as though you cannot walk (much less run) one. more. step.
And everyone learns about “hitting the wall” during their training. You talk about strategies to get through it…chew sugar gum or a cinnamon candy, drink part of a sports drink, have another high sugar gel, stretch, take deep breaths, play your favorite playlist, get motivation from the cheering crowd…
If you’ve ever had a baby, you know what I’m talking about. You learn all of these strategies to handle pain, breathing, panding, squeezing, bearing down, and on and on.
But what happens when many women are faced with the sort of pain having a baby entails, GIVE ME AN EPIDURAL STAT! GIVE ME SOME KIND OF SOMETHING TO RELIEVE THIS PAIN.
Although you cannot get an epidural during a marathon, I am betting you’d be pretty popular if you stood by offering to give them around mile 20. People would probably give you their kids’ college savings accounts or even retirement to take the pain away.
But the only way to get through the wall is to get through it. Period.
Because I was lucky enough to watch my dad run marathons, growing up, I had the marathon passion in my bones. I also had someone who was willing to meet me around mile 20 to run several pivotal miles. Thanks, dad.
I remember seeing him in the crowd hustle over to me. Oh my goodness, I cannot tell you the absolute relief I felt just seeing him. I knew that I’d be able to count on him to “carry me” through the miles ahead.
I also said to him, “Dad, I am at mile 20. If I stopped running now, I’d be proud of myself.”
When you’re at mile 20 and only have 6.2 miles to go, you’d think things would get easier. Well, you’d be wrong! So wrong! Turning a corner felt like taking the SAT all over again. Now do that 296 more times! Not even kidding.
You see, when the going got really tough, I started thinking the price for accomplishing my hard-won goal was too much.
I can still remember the knowing smile on his face and his quick response, “No you won’t.”
He was so right, and of course I knew it.
Although my dad wasn’t able to take the pain of SLAMMING into the wall away, he was able to be there for me. We hardly spoke. We just kept putting one foot in front of the other, over and over and over again.
I have to tell you that when I crossed that finish line at 26.2 miles, I threw my hands in the air and literally cried some seriously happy tears, tears of joy.
That moment was absolutely everything! I set out to do something freaking hard! I put it all on the line and even questioned my own sanity a time or three. My heart & soul were in it all the way. I had accomplished EXACTLY what I had set out to accomplish.
There were no cutting corners. There wasn’t a relief pitcher. No shortcuts existed.
It was me. And only me. It was me vs. me and I WON! Y’all, I was flipping victorious! I knew exactly what I was made of, and it was some pretty strong stuff.
I showed up for myself. No one could ever take that away from me. I wanted something really bad, and by golly, I went out and hunted it down!
Since that marathon 15 years ago, I’ve done 3 more and countless other half marathons. But none of them were as victorious as the first.
Just writing this brings back the very real feelings of accomplishment and pride. Training for and running a marathon is an incredible accomplishment, something I would encourage everyone to do.
I’ve got more marathons in my future, but right now my husband and I are training for a half, together. So fun!
This has been a great trip down memory lane, and I hope it has fired you up to crush your personal goals! What are they?
What is it that you want? What will you have to do differently to hunt it down? And what will you need to keep you going when the going gets tough?
I have a challenge for you…how about running or walking or run/walking a 5K, whether it your 1st or 21st? A 5K is 3.1 miles and is a perfect distance to improve your level of fitness, pump-up your metabolism and even keep your weight in check over the holidays! It’s an absolute perfect time to set that goal.
And I am even going to help, because I know just how special it is to set a goal (one that may seem intimidating at first) and knock it out of the park! Are you ready to feel that level of accomplishment pumping through your veins?
The time for change is now! GO DO IT!