When you take the first step down a road that seems impossible, beautiful doors open. Possibilities and chain reactions begin unfolding in ways you never imagined.
* Hope breeds hope; success feeds success.
When you start with a small grain of hope, and you walk forward clinging to that in spite of fears and doubt, something amazing happens. That hope begins expanding. It soars, giving wings to even the most fragile of dreams. Each small success is a package wrapped in a new layer of hope that can fuel a push to the next achievement.
* I can run when it hurts. I can run when it's well below freezing. I can even run when the air is icky.
I've been complaining because it's too cold and icky to run. Yesterday, as I sat in my car, I watched a feeble, elderly gentleman wading through the snow. His walk can only be described as a shuffle. His progress was painfully slow, and my heart ached watching his agonizing movements. He was bent almost double with the effort. But, he did it. He shuffled and rested, shuffled and rested.
I don't know why this man was out walking in the bitter cold and icky air, but I do know that it inspired me. I'm relatively healthy and strong. It does not take that kind of effort for me to reach my goal of being healthy. I might murmur occasionally, but I hope I won't complain so easily when it takes a bit of extra determination to reach my goals. I've been blessed in a lot of ways, and I'm probably capable of giving a bit more than I do.
* Dreams are a very personal thing. They can and should be held close.
I've learned that, in my life, unless I own my dream, unless I'm seeking it for my own self, it's fairly fleeting. While dreams come with a bit of innate hope, they also require a bit of iron will to be fully realized. I'm just lazy enough by nature that if I'm not chasing a dream because I want it, because it is fully and completely mine, I won't stick it out.
Running has always been a distant dream, in large part, because I was never at a point in my life where I was running solely for me. I'd try to get healthier because I wanted to lose weight, because I wanted my husband (now ex) to find me attractive, etc. Later, after my divorce, I'd try to get healthier because I worried about dating and how shallow that can be. There were a million reasons, and none of them were truly mine.
It wasn't until I learned to value me for exactly who I already was, to realize I was worth putting forth the effort to make myself happy, and to learn to run purely for it's own sake without any of the old qualifying reasons that I began to make my dream my own. It's found wings and roots as I've found my own individual worth.
* DON'T QUIT ... EVER!
I don't mean this in a "Run, Forest! Run!" sort of way. It's better to take it slowly and not kill your dream before you have a chance to taste it. No, what I mean is ... just don't stop. Even if you have a week or two where you just can't make progress on your dream -- for whatever reason -- be planning ahead for the time that you can. Don't think in terms of starting over. Think in terms of picking up where you left off. Sure, there will be times when you have to back track a bit, but it's not starting over if you never quit.
* Don't beat yourself with your mistakes.
Guilt is only healthy as long as its productive. Guilt has its place. It can and should motivate you to do a little more, to be a little better. It's pretty important to be able to recognize and even feel remorseful when you've fallen short of your potential. At the same time, if you wallow in it, guilt can be absolutely crippling. That, and it sort of screams cheesecake and chocolate donuts, if you know what I mean ... :)
Pick yourself up. Allow yourself your moment and move on. Try again tomorrow. The only time frame is usually one you've set for yourself. Who really says that you have to be perfect over night?
* Splurge sometimes ... just because.
Nope ... it's not always worth it to shelve my dream for a day. In this case, missing a run or eating a big old slab of cheesecake is not always as enjoyable as my brain or taste buds think it will be. But, the point is, they still occasionally think that way. I've learned to smile and say, "What's the worst that's going to happen? I'll be up one or two pounds tomorrow, and then I'll go back to my usual routine and, in a couple of days, I'll be right back where I am now." or "So I may have to ease into my next run a bit more." It's okay. It doesn't need to induce guilt or panic -- those things are usually pretty self-defeating in my world. It's a process and I won't be where I want over night, so why borrow trouble?
* It's always worth it.
Dreams heal our hearts, our minds, and our souls. Sometimes, like this particular dream, they even heal our bodies. They help us to envision our best selves. In our dreams, we see, not just who we are, but who we can become. Sometimes, it feels like such a stretch that we'll never really be that dream self, but, as I said: Hope breeds hope; success feeds success.
One of my favorite scriptures talks about this.
Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (Alma 37:6, Book of Mormon)Dreams can be small and simple, or they can be as big as the universe, but they all start with one small step, and then another, and still another ... Small and simple things move us to where we want to be, to who we want to be. Little steps build greatness ...