“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” ~ Sir Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer
We head out into this life we're living, a journey in some direction. For each of us. And along that journey, we encounter crossroads, new paths, paths less traveled, paths traversed quite well. These paths – and there are millions of them out there in this world we call "life" – are all directions we can choose to go in.
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose." ~ Dr. Seuss
Today, I am putting the feet that I have into a good pair of running shoes. I am choosing to compete in my first marathon. The Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon. October 3rd, 2010.
26.2 miles. That is the mountain. And yet, it will become not this mountain that I conquer, but myself.
This conquering of myself will be no easy task. There will be moments of doubt. In fact, I know this – as there have already been moments of doubt. There will be aches and pains that I haven't felt before (and there already have been). There may be moments where I question what I was thinking in signing up. There will surely be moments where I won't want to put in another long run.
That's why I've brought on the best coach – Coach Lori. She's been there. She knows what it's like – the training, the time, the aches, the challenges…and the conquering of ourselves.
And that's it. As amazing as I anticipate it will be to cross that finish line, the bigger thing for me here, is the going deeper within myself. This WILL be a challenge for me. A challenge both physically and mentally. It's in this challenge, that – in the words of Sir Edmund Hillary – I will conquer myself. And perhaps I have already. At some level, I have. With the challenges, the mountains, that I have faced already in life. This becomes a new layer, as I go deeper within. A new conquering of myself.
Perhaps that is really it. On this life journey we are each on, there will continue to be new challenges for us to face. Some of these challenges will be ones we bring on, and other will happen by chance. I believe very much that the challenges we choose to conquer for ourselves will better prepare us for all that lies ahead.
Today I choose the Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon as that next challenge, and the next conquering of myself.
The journey continues…
As it does for all of us.