Think Marathon, Not Sprint

These days with everything that is going on with Covid-19, quarantine, and our government, it would not be unusual for you to be feeling overwhelmed.  Add to this our own personal challenges, and most of us feel confused as to how to move forward.  Our problems, both real and imagined, can inundate us. So much, that we may be losing sleep and finding it difficult to rest. We may feel stricken and alone.

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If we attempt to do solve every problem at once, we will end up very frustrated.  We need to give ourselves time, and allow the solutions to become feasible for us.  If instead of living in the short-term, we think long-term, and baby-steps, then we will make it to the end invigorated.  

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. I actually feel like I come to work stronger when I’ve had a little time on the weekend to step away from it and enjoy my family and other things. I come back energized. If people think they’re going to work 24/7, week in and week out, they’re not bringing their full strength to the table.

Mary Barra

Sprint runners are are very fast, but can only keep up the pace for a very short time.  If we attempt to tackle our lives like this, we may not have enough left to actualize our dreams. We may feel tired and cannot imagine continuing to the end.  It would be difficult to focus on the entire distance we need to accomplish.

Marathon runners, on the other hand, run slower but have much more stamina to go the distance.  By pacing ourselves, we know we can keep running now and we can continue taking step after step.  We don’t have to expend all our energy in one burst.   Our energy rebuilds along the way, even as we expend it.

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The same analogy can be used in meeting the challenges of our lives.  Hopefully we have a long way to go and need to pace ourselves if we are to have the healthiest, longest life possible.  We do not have to live the whole future in one day.

The truth is, we can take heart in knowing that we only have to deal with today.  The problems of tomorrow are not here yet, so we do not need to devote any energy to them.  Yesterday is gone, so there is no need to dwell on it.  Focus on today and what you can do to make it the best.

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Remember, we are never alone.  There are people who are there, all you need do is look.  Your family and friends would welcome the opportunity to lend a listening ear.  We are all feeling alone and isolated, but that is not the reality.  Pick up the phone and call, text, or video call someone.  You will probably make their day.  

In the end, the American dream is not a sprint, or even a marathon, but a relay. Our families don’t always cross the finish line in the span of one generation. But each generation passes on to the next the fruits of their labor.

Julian Castro

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