Everything is Too Hard to Do
After months and months of worrying, I finally did it. I finally ran a marathon. All my months and months of training finally paid off and I crossed the finish line. Not only did I finish, but I finished ahead of the time I was aiming for. It was so exciting and boring and wonderful and tough. 10 out of 10, would do again.
Now that it’s over with, I wonder what it was that I was so worried about. I was almost making myself sick with worry. I headed online to ask all sorts of questions in a sort of last minute panic.
That was probably my mistake right there.
I began to read articles with pictures of athletes vomiting and crawling to the finish line. I asked advice on reddit where they told me about how the last 4 miles that I had never run before (I had only trained up to 22 miles) were so different. I read blogs where they said that running a marathon was a whole different mindset than running a half marathon.
On top of all this was advice about what shoes to wear, when to eat gel packs, how gel packs were poisonous, what exercises you should or shouldn’t do before, what kind of gear you need…blah…blah…blah.
Anyone new to the marathon game would be easily scared off by all of this information. It was as if those who had run before had gone through some sort of nightmarish hell, survived and had been sent to warn others not to do it. “Run!” they’d say, “But only if you’re prepared to die first.”
Despite my fear, I pushed myself to go anyway. Those mysterious 4 miles lay ahead of me, the spooky land of 23+ miles that had previously been unexplored had me worrying right up to the end.
And you know what?
Nothing different anyway. Just like I had trained for: I ran, I got tired, I ran some more, I got tired, I ran some more and then I finished.
Don’t get me wrong. It was hard. My legs were throbbing by the end and I was never so happy to see a finish line before. I felt a wonderful sense of achievement when I was done and no one will ever take that away from me.
But I didn’t experience what these other runners were painting this picture of. It was not this nightmarish scene, it wasn’t hell. It was just running. It was what I had been doing all along except just a bit more.
The reason I bring this up is because I feel like this might be the case with the writing industry. There are so many advice blogs, writers, and editors who act as if choosing a career in writing is some hellish nightmare that only the most talented and devout dare enter. You’re going to starve, no one will love you, you’ll hate yourself, you’ll contemplate jumping off a bridge – and then you’ll write some more. ONLY REAL WRITERS DARE ENTER THIS WORLD.
But what if it’s not? What if all you need is a love of writing, a lot of practice, and a willingness to push past the boring, painful bits?
There seems to be this elitist attitude with a lot of these types of things, but really, we’re all human and we all have our different paths to follow. Every experience is different for every person. So why are people trying so hard to dissuade others from doing what they love?
The point here is: Don’t be afraid. Explore territories even if you see “keep out” signs. There might be something waiting there for you that is a whole lot less scary than it seems.