Opportunities don’t just come to you in neatly wrapped packages delivered to your door (though some pretty awesome running shoes do). You have to work for them. Day and night. You have to live and breathe your dream, your goal, your passion. It won’t happen overnight, but I believe that if you work hard enough it will happen. You can’t wait. You can’t listen to the doubters, the unbelievers, the people that tell you to settle. YOU decide your future. People help you get there, but YOU have to make the choice to ask, to believe, to work, to reach out, to dream.
Don’t be that person that settles. Be the person that works tirelessly to reach your dream. Don’t take your dream to the grave. Don’t keep it locked up inside. Maybe your dream is career driven, running driven, a workout you want to conquer, a race PR. Your dream needs to hurt, it hurts so bad that you sweat, you lose sleep, you fall, you feel, you stumble, but in the end, you GET UP! Challenge yourself, show the doubters that you can become better than yesterday. If you put in 100% effort toward your goal, you will get there. Make your challenges an enemy you can fight and conquer.
I have a few huge goals. And I’ve stated them to the world. I want to work in sports and running with some of the biggest brands in the industry. I love the Nike and Athleta brands and working with them and changing the way people perceive sports, running, female athletes and strength would be a dream come true. I may not be in the right city, but I want to do everything I can do to get experience, network with industry leaders, share my passion and stay accountable, even to those who tell me to let it go and settle.
If someone is doubting you and tearing your goals down, then you know you are doing something right. You are making waves, staying true to what you want. I was talking to a friend about some of my past experiences as a brand ambassador and my desire to work for an athletic company and she told me she didn’t know how I did it. I’ve wanted this since college and dedicated so much of my own time, unpaid and often unrecognized, to the pursuit of that goal. She said she couldn’t do it, I put in so much work and haven’t achieved it yet, she would have let go of that goal and settled. I think that is the difference between people who finally reach the point in their life where their goals, work and passions collide. You can’t stop them, they don’t give up and pressure, pain, failure, is all just a means to a future end. It comes with the territory. Acknowledge that there will be struggles, there will be pain, there will be amazing and celebratory moments, and in the end it is worth it.
I became a runner after college and I have discovered that what makes me a good runner is my refusal to quit. I am not the fastest runner, but I work for what I have and I will train hard. I’ll run fast, I’ll plan my workouts, I’ll sprint until I can’t run another foot and have to crawl if that is what it takes. If you’ve run a marathon you know that it is not easy, it is a constant battle with your head, your muscles and your heart. The training is hard, it’s tiring, it’s not always fun, but it’s worth it. The race itself is full of ups and downs. One minute everything is going right, until it’s not. You’re suddenly struggling with fatigue, but you know the finish line is just ahead so you push through the fatigue, you push through the pain and you keep working. Life isn’t easy, running isn’t easy, reaching your goals is not easy.
The only thing I know for sure is that I won’t quit. I’m resilient and passionate. There is always a chance I won’t ever have that dream job or reach that race PR, but the risk of never trying and the pain of giving up without a fight is too great. Everything worth having is worth fighting for, it’s worth every drop of sweat, every shed tear, every victory, no matter how small. Here is my advice to you: Sacrifice. Dream. Believe. Reach Higher. Feel More. Embrace Pain. Run The Distance. Don’t Quit. Live Passionately.
If you want to be even more inspired, check out this video, it’ll make you think and hopefully give you the motivation to pursue what matters.