Embrace your own Journey

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Are you running your own race or are you tagging along on someone else's journey?  I spent the last 6 months training for the Disney Half Marathon.  I joined a running group, adjusted my diet, kept up on the latest in running trends, and trained 2 to 3 days per week, on the days that I could drag myself out of bed at 5am.  I had a great plan for race day - I would start out strong by running the first 5 miles, then alternate between walking for 1 minute and running for 5 minutes.  This plan would allow me to take advantage of my excitement and momentum at the beginning of the race and then coast to a strong finish.

When I hit the 5 mile mark, I started walking and a funny thing happened.  I started to get discouraged because so many runners were passing me by.  Sure there were others who were also walking but I am competitive and I wanted to run with the pros.  I ran for another 3 miles before my body forced me to stop and get back to running my own race.  

Walking gave me the opportunity to not just rest but to survey my surroundings.  I saw the professional runners zipping by, runners jogging in their costumes (Mickey, Minnie, pirates and princesses), runners stopping to take pictures with the Disney characters, running groups supporting each other, teenagers proudly running their first race, runners for various charities, and quite a few runners who at first glance didn't seem to have the strength to make it another mile but they were all courageously heading to the finish line.  I started enjoying my 1 minute walks and when I made it to the finish line, my heart was happy and my legs were grateful for the breaks.

At our core, we are all the same but our journey is often very different.  In running and in life, it is ok to let others pass you; they are on a different journey.  Define your journey, decide which road you will take and at what speed, don't be distracted by other people, resist the urge to tag along on someone else's journey, especially when your journey becomes challenging, and most importantly, take the time to embrace and enjoy your own journey.