Always Striving To Be Better!

I don’t know the last time I ever ran ten miles in under ninety minutes, but it was a long time ago.

Guys in their mid-fifties aren’t supposed to be this fast.

As I ran today, I zoomed past lightning. He couldn’t keep up.

***

It feels great to work diligently toward a goal, any goal, and to achieve it. I didn’t think I’d ever be this fast again.

But here’s the thing about goals… once you get there, there’s always the next one. There is always a new mountain to climb – always something else to strive for.

I’m now wondering if I can break 88-minutes on a ten-mile run. I know I’ll be trying to do that soon. (But not today!)

I haven’t run a marathon in under four hours since 2009. That was a long time ago – a lifetime in many regards. I’d like to break four hours at least once more in my life. I’m thinking I just might be able to do it when I run the Pittsburgh Marathon in May.

But if I don’t, I’ll try again in New York in November.

And if I fail to hit that goal then… I’ll just try again and again. And again. One of these days, I just might.

It’s not always about achieving our goals, it’s about working to achieve them.

Striving. Working. Pushing. Giving each task our best efforts.

We don’t have to achieve the goals we set. Some goals just might not be possible to achieve. I might not ever be a four-hour marathoner again. And that’s okay. What I will do, though, if work towards that goal. I’ll strive. I’ll work. I’ll train. I’ll give it my best effort.

Again and again.

***

I’m completing a book about running that’ll (hopefully) come out next spring. This has been a tough book for me to write for many reasons. It’s coming along. It’s getting better and better.

The manuscript is currently in its fourth full revision. It’s good, but it’s not where I want it to be yet. (And that’s okay.)

It’ll get there. The process is just as important as the finished product.

***

The road to success isn’t a straight line.

After years away from the piano, I picked it up again a few months ago. This has been a particular challenge. It takes me a long time to read music, especially in the bass cleft. My fingers don’t always go where I want them to go. The flow for most songs is erratic.

But there are times when the music emanating from the piano sounds melodious and beautiful. As I play, I’m in a bit of awe that this music is coming from me. I wonder how I can play that nicely. I’m living, seeing, and hearing the progress I am making…

Of course, anyone who has experienced this knows that in the immediate moment that the music starts to sound this good, my brain and fingers betray me and I quickly find that I can’t play even a single note correctly.

But there are those moments…

It’s not about finishing. It’s about striving.

***

The other day I went out for a long run and quit in the fourth mile. I couldn’t go on.

Today I ran ten miles faster than I’ve ran in a long long time.

I’m the same runner.

Some days we achieve. Some days we fall short.

***

Life is about striving, growing, falling, and striving again.

There is no such thing as failure except if we quit and never try again.

Every day provides a new opportunity to grow and find excellence in whatever we do.

***

STRIVE GREATLY!

Greatness is just ahead.

I hope to see you there one day soon.

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