Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The First Mile

Last weekend, I attended another TnT Info Session. I've lost track of how many I've attended in my short time with the program.

The goal of an Info Session is to educate potential participants on what we're all about -- our running program, the events, meeting goals, crossing the finish line, and of course, the mission of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Despite the fact that I've seen the tear-jerking video a million times and heard from the coaches and participants and cancer survivors, I always come away with a little something that reminds me why I do this -- for the love of running, a good cause and my teammates.

Sometimes my team has so much fun that we forget we're actually making a difference, a difference in the lives the each other, the participants we train -- and a difference in the lives of those touched by blood cancers.

Back when I started TnT, my mentor, Dave, sent me an email sharing something he holds special. It's called "The First Mile," and every word of it is true.

It applies to running and training just as it does to everything in life. We all have a first mile.

Dave shared this with the group last weekend, and since it was way back in 2007 that I first posted it, I decided to share it again:


I just finished running.

It's 6:12am.

During the run many revelations came that paralleled this morning's run to life.

There are two very difficult miles to run no matter how long the run.

The First and the Last Mile.

I usually run five miles or more.

The first mile is the hardest and the one most missed.

You see, you have to get started to run the first mile.

It's hard to get started.

I have to get out of bed.

Those first few steps that wake a sleeping body are part of the first mile.

They are tougher than the steepest hill.

You have a race to run, a course to complete, or a project that awaits you.

You too have a first mile. And your first mile is tough, just like mine.

When I take my first step outside most of my run is completed.

I've accomplished the hardest part.

I've gotten started and stepped out.

The next few steps bring out the stiffness of your body as the muscles stretch and your lungs fill with the crisp, cool morning air. It's still dark outside and menacing shadows reach out from strange corners.

Darkness creates a different, somewhat eerie world.

There could be dangers in the shadows but danger usually doesn't get up this early.

If there are any aches and pains, the first mile will bring them out.

The greatest probability that you will give up and turn back is in the first mile.

The vast majority make new year's resolutions each year. Most have broken them at the end of the first two weeks.

The first two weeks is the first mile.

Miles 2, 3 and 4 are usually uneventful, but the last mile is a doozy. There is something about the last mile that's a real stretch and it doesn't matter whether I am running 2 miles or 10 miles. The last mile is a real stretch. The effects of the previous miles pile up but at the same time you can ‘see’ the finish.

And so it is with life.

To get started is a strain.

To finish is a stretch.

The First and The Last Mile

What's your first mile?

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