This could just as easily have been titled "No Limits" or "Limits are what we impose on ourselves" but I preferred all the Ps - see "prefer" is a P word too.
During this 7 day period I made an extra effort NOT to think about tomorrow or the day after or anything of that nature. I thought about "right now" and what I was going to do in the next moment in time. Later in the run I also thought about what I would do the rest of the day to see how I could recover enough to "possibly" enter the next day's race. But if I had started thinking about day #7 on day 1 or 2 I would have completely psyched myself out and not even given myself a chance to try to achieve something that ended up meaning more to me than sitting around for several days during the holidays wondering about life in general and being unhappy that I wasn't accomplishing anything.
I have a passion for running. I keep it pretty much to myself because I'm so slow and I'm not the image someone conjures up when they think of a "runner". But it's my passion for running and for continually striving for more (and different) in my life that made this such a powerful (another P word) 7 days. I was able to pursue my passion for running AND my passion to achieve more and more.
I had pain during the runs but it was all physical. I overcame any emotional pain that reared its ugly head because I had the tremendous support of EVERYONE on the course. It was as if we were one big happy family and wanted each other to succeed. The Physical pain was something that I just dealt with, hoping that it would pass or that it wouldn't get worse and I could run (or walk) through it. I was not in any degree of pain as the majority of the people on the course who had been out there doing marathon after marathon for days and weeks by that point - Kevin was running all these marathons knowing that on the 4th of January he had to have surgery on his knee. Amazing man he is and I admired him so much for persisting and not complaining at all. He was just out there doing the miles. That inspired me so much. But I have to tell you that there was someone just about every step that inspired me. They were there helping me achieve a goal while they were pushing themselves to their limits with a smile and a cheer on their face. Hopefully you're getting some idea of why I love all these wonderful people and consider them family even though I just met them. So, I learned that pain is a relative thing. And that you can push through it. Simply concentrate on something else and you'll have it made. It might not be easy but if you put your focus where it should be - achieving your goal, then you'll make it through the pain.
Problems are similar. They are a matter of perception and perspective. Once again, if you close your mind to the existence of a problem and only look for a solution then you're several steps ahead of the game. Often times we focus on what's happened (the problem) and get stuck there without extending ourselves out to what the possible solutions might be - there is ALWAYS a solution - we just have to be willing and able to expand our mind to find that solution. When you get old and set in your ways, that's not always easy. During these 7 days I didn't have many problems and if I did, they were overshadowed by my FOCUS on putting one foot in front of the other to make it to the finish each and every day. I focused not only on that but also on what was good and fun and what I was learning from my MP3 player (until the porta potty ate it of course). I took deliberate action to change my focus each time I started to think about a problem. I knew what I wanted and I was going after it. So often in life we drift along like a log in the ocean, letting the waves move us around willy nilly. We don't realize that we have the ability to control our destiny with our thoughts and with our focus. If you look through a magnifying glass or a microscope, you see a very, very small portion of life - and you can only see it well when you focus the lens. That's what we have to do in our lives. Find out what it is we want to look at (achieve) and then focus on getting to that point no matter what. Focus on the end result and you'll find a way around any obstacles or roadblocks (such as pain or thoughts that you're at your limit - mental rubbish). You'll be able to get across the raging stream, climb (or circumnavigate) that mountain. You may have to revise your timeline and your plan but you do not necessarily have to revise your ultimate destination. A good example of this is what I think I wrote the other day about realizing that although my goal (one goal) is to be able to run back to back marathons, I tried last week but my body wasn't ready. That doesn't mean I won't ever be able to do that. It just meant that I have to revise the timeline for that goal, not give up on it. That's the other thing that people do - they give up instead of revising.
If you have a passion, pursue it! Love what you do and do what you love - I learned that during those 7 days too and have tried to apply them to my life every single day and I encourage you to also. Be persistent in your pursuit of that goal. You will be able to achieve it. Focus and put every thought and action toward that achievement in some way or another. Even those things in life that don't seem to have anything to do with that achievement are related somehow because the Universe puts everything in your path that's supposed to be there. You have created every opportunity and event in your life and its yours to do something positive with. Don't waste a moment!
Enjoy today and know that you're one step closer to your achievement - you just have to focus on it more.