While running yesterday I couldn’t help but think of the enormity of the task I’ve managed to set myself up for when I registered for the Hartford Half Marathon.  I was running along, there in the dark, thinking the R-rated version of “Oh Man” as I approached the 1 and a half mile mark and realized how far a half marathon was in comparison.  It got me thinking about the difficulty of it all.  I don’t think anything is impossible, I strongly feel that with enough work and patience anyone can do anything.  There is proof of that everywhere.

Impossible is a word to be found only in the dictionary of fools.
– Napoleon Bonaparte

Having said that, I never really thought that I would be doing a half marathon.  As I jogged along, alone with my thoughts, I came to a realization.  What I was doing, running 3 miles, seems impossible to someone.  There are millions of people who can look at what I was doing that that dark and frigid night and think to themselves, I could never do that.  Most of those people will resign themselves to that thought process and will continue to sit on the sofa and watch TV.  They will consider the very task that I was completing impossible.  But a small number of those people will stand up and say I want to do that.  Those people will not only try, but they will succeed.

Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.

–Doug Larson

What I realized in that moment was that everyone, be they a seasoned professional athlete or a weekend warrior, faces the same demons of self doubt and the fear of falling short of their goals.  For me it is finishing the half marathon, for them it may be getting a PR, or coming in first.  In either case the passion, yes even the glory, is in fighting that demon, in proving to yourself that anything is possible.  It is showing the people who say it can’t be done that it will be done.  The race, the competition, it is a personal journey, in the end we each walk alone, and the true winner is the one who does what can’t be done just because they were told it was impossible.

It always seems impossible until its done.
–Nelson Mandela