Sunday, April 26, 2009

Euphoria Is The Thirteenth Mile

Those of you who are familiar with me from any other blog/social networking site I participate on have probably already heard me use this line, so I apologize for the repetition, but I'm going to talk about it again.

My choir professor has the tendency to go off on exceedingly random tangents during our class. Bird, car accidents, concerts, literally, anything is fair game. Earlier this week, he went off on a tangent about running, and I kind of figured, okay, here he goes again, we'll get back to singing in 5 minutes.

This happened to be an unusually exceptional tangent though. I know I won't do it justice trying to repeat it here, but it was brilliant. He started off by telling us about how so many people had been coming to him lately, trying very hard to get ahead in their classes, or tackle their workload, or accomplish something important, but who were getting exceedingly frustrated, and starting to give up because they weren't achieving what they wanted to achieve. He then explained to us that when you run, after a certain distance, you eventually reach this state of euphoria and calm where you just feel weightless, like you're floating. This occurs at about the thirteenth mile. Most people, however, who are striving for that place and that feeling, stop at the ninth mile. He pointed out how the distance between the ninth mile and the thirteenth mile isn't all that large, and that you just have to keep pushing yourself, because you're closer than you think.

Euphoria is the thirteenth mile.

And I look back, and I think about all the times I thought I couldn't do something. I think about all the semesters at school when the assignments started to pile up over my head and I thought I'd never be able to make it out without failing everything. I think of the weeks at work when I first started and was scheduled for so many shifts that I thought there was no way I'd make it through without dying. I think of the literal times when I've been running or exercising, and feeling like there was no way I could possibly run another mile, or do another push up, or another sit up.

But I was always wrong. I always pulled through, and I always did it.

The moral of the story? I think we're all a lot stronger than we think we are, and sometimes, I think we're all a lot closer to that thirteenth mile than we think we are. And come on, after coming so far, do you really want to give up when you may be so close to getting what you're working for? Why chance it? Why not just keep pushing for that extra mile? If you push past mile nine, my professor said, mile ten starts to feel easier. You start to think, If I can do this, what can't I do? So I say, keep going.

Can you think of a time that you thought you couldn't do something? Did you stop trying or did you work harder? If you worked harder, did you eventually get what you were aiming for?


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