When I ran my first marathon back in October, there were a few times on that course I thought I was going to quit. I thought I had nothing left and that this course broke me. I thought I was stupid for even trying.
I distinctly remember hitting the Mile 20 marker. I thought my running coach was going to be there cheering me on, and I couldn’t see her anywhere. I was done, that was my sign it was time to just give up. As I pondered exactly how to do this, I looked up and saw a woman holding a sign.
Let me tell you this. The people on the course are angels. They have signs that make you laugh, and they are cheering you on even though they don’t know you. It’s a blessing to see strangers showing up for other strangers that are doing something really challenging.
This woman stood there tall, with a determined look on her face and held a sign that said, “You Are Stronger Than You Know.” And I could have cried because she was right. I had more in me. I had more strength.
I don’t know where it came from, but I got a second wind (let’s be honest it was probably my seventh wind). And I kept going. My coach was at mile 21, surprisingly, and I took thatas a sign to definitely keep going.
It’s like that Marianne Williamson quotesays that our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We are more afraid of our light than our dark.
As I look back on the moments that challenged me to the breaking point, I see how often I ran from fear of pain. I was so afraid that I would have pain or suffering that I quit. I thought, I am not strong enough for this and I don’t want to feel pain so this must not be for me.
In those times I never let myself see how strong I really am.
I could have quit at mile 20, but I didn’t. I still ran 6.2 more miles. And I DID IT. I didn’t think I could, but I did it. Yes, I am strong than I know.
I have more to give, even when it’s hard.
And in hindsight, the pain I feared was not so bad. Yes, there was a little bit of pain. Yes, I it was really hard and I had to dig deep.
But after it was over, I felt amazing. It was pure joy and pride that stays with me even now.
That is what waits on the other side of things that seem too hard. If we have the ability to hang on through a tough spot, we can reach joy. We can touch greatness. And we see what we are truly capable of.
Where are you feeling afraid right now? Where are you bracing yourself for pain? Where are you trying to avoid feeling uncomfortable, hurt, or disappointed? I bet there is a gem for you waiting on the other side if you just keep going.
Who in your life needs a reminder of their greatness? Hit forward on this email and share the inspiration. Tell them that you believe in them and you see what they are capable of. Sometimes it’s easier to see it from the outside and it helps to hear it. Be someone else’s angel holding a sign that tells them “you are stronger than you know.”