Life’s a Marathon, Enjoy the Ride!

Back to back posts! Happy Tuesday.

The giant red X on my calendar looms over my office and casts a rather terrifying shadow on me all day long while at work. Sunday, May 1st will be my first attempt at the 26.2 mile feat known as the marathon. While at face value, running that far seems simple enough. Just keep running. Just keep running… however, a marathon is much more than a simple lap around the city. It’s really a defining moment in any person’s life (especially for the first one) and shows the world that you made lifestyle changes in both your personal and professional life to make room for such a large endeavor. It takes time to train, time to recover, time away from friends, time sleeping, time, time, time… who has time to blog with all these other time commitments?!?

Something that I struggle with is always looking for the “next best thing.” I race to get faster and faster (and try and crush the competition), I study for computer certifications to be certified and expand career opportunities, and often times I lose sight of the real reasons for why I do these things. I train like a maniac because I thoroughly enjoy the adrenaline rush and thrill of competing. I work in a technology field because I love helping people and enjoy finding new ways to utilize technology. I’ve spent the last 8 months at a new job that has really opened my eyes to the world (not just the corporate one), and has helped me find a  new appreciation for life and it’s many exciting adventures it has to offer.

Here’s a few tips to enjoy the ride, known as life, which we all experience.

  1.   Do things because you want to do them – a previous job I held was a terrible fit for me but I didn’t realize it for a long time. Shoving a square peg into a round hole was an excellent description of what was happening in my life, and I was, frankly, miserable. However, after having stumbled into this new job I have a new-found appreciation for the things in life that make me happy (friends, training, being helpful) and do them because I want to. Note: I’m actually racing Sunday because I want to… survive that is :-)
  2. Set realistic goals – Since August, I’ve constantly met with co-workers to come up with realistic goals that we can meet as a team. Yes, we’ve been challenged to meet those goals, but they have also made us more effective workers. I originally set out to run the Las Vegas marathon in December but that was incredibly unrealistic. Coming off a tough seven race triathlon season, plagued with injury and fatigue, it would not have been a wise decision to try and complete the marathon. Instead, I postponed by five months and will be ready (kind of).
  3. Take time to decompress – As Americans, I think we often over-emphasize the importance of our career and de-emphasize the importance of our friends, family, and social lives. This is exactly backwards and something which I was guilty of as well. Having survived one of the busiest quarters of my life, I can say I appreciate the free time that I get with friends, even if only an hour, much more than I ever have. Friends and family keep us sane. It’s as simple as that… Make sure you also take the time to express how much you appreciate them and desire their support. If we don’t have them, what do we have?

What areas in your life do you have a hard time just “enjoying the ride?” See you at the races!

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