The Thing About Running


Wow. I did it! I hit my goal this year of running 100 miles per month. The previous high annual mileage for me was 952. So that’s a strong increase.

I didn’t realize what this would do for me. Originally, I set this goal because it sounded cool to run 2,015 miles in 2015 (as long as I could do it with a partner, making my part a measly 1,007.5). Figured that if I could do a marathon (checked off the life list in 2014), then I could do this.

I look at this pile of medals, and what I see is perhaps not what you see.

You might think I won a bunch of races. Nope. Didn’t win even one. Didn’t get any gender places or age group places or any of that. These are finisher medals.

These celebrate nothing more than making it over the line.

Isn’t that the grand part of life? You have days when you feel like you are on top of it all. Sometimes those days even add up to months or years. Then, you hit bottom. Through someone else’s shenanigans or the economy or some other external force….or your own mistake. No matter what puts you there, we all find that valley of darkness and it’s not a great place to be.

But you don’t stay there. That’s the gift of life. No one does. Even those who suffer with the worst clinical depression have moments where the light pierces the darkness. In running, that is like getting through miles 19-22 of a marathon to realize you will make it. Or it’s getting through the second half of a run after you eat concrete and smash your knee to smithereens. Or it’s getting back on the phone to make another appointment after you lose a sale.

Or it’s picking yourself back up after a mistake, apologizing and acknowledging what you said, and praying that you’ll be granted a ray of light masquerading as forgiveness.

So what
I see with these medals, you ask?

I see a PR in 3 distances this year. I achieved a personal record in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon distances. If you’re not a runner, you may not get what that really means. What that means is that I beat myself. I bettered myself. That might not sound like much to you, the personal competition, but it’s huge.

It doesn’t happen easily. It doesn’t happen overnight. It only happens when you pound the pavement enough to train your body to be stronger. Yes, it hurts to get there. There is no public celebration, there is no podium, there is no name over the loudspeaker. It’s just you vs you. A mental moment that is probably only captured in your app or Garmin.

You may ask me
I do this running thing. How do I find the time in a busy life, in a busy world? Easy. I make the time. I get up earlier than the rest of the world to get it done. There are mornings when I don’t want to get up, but I get up anyway. Read Darren Hardy’s book, The Compound Effect, if you want an extra voice in your head to get you up when you’d rather hit the snooze button.

You may ask me
I do this. If I’m not going to be on a podium and if it’s going to make my body hurt more days than not, then why? It’s because this is my space to talk to myself. To get myself out of the dark valley. To listen to voices of wisdom through some of the amazing podcasts available out there. To listen to trashy music that my kids aren’t allowed to listen to yet. No one can take away that time or space.

No one. Not the haters, not the hateful anonymous people who live to tear others down, not the pseudo-friends who vanish when you turn out not to be quite so perfect. No one gets the best part of me. No one gets that space.

You know what else no one gets? They don’t get the pleasure of holding me down in the darkness. I may screw up, I may make mistakes, but I’ll learn from them. I’ll work harder, I’ll be stronger, and I’ll get better.

Why? Because in my personal journey, I know that others are riding with me. I might be their light in the darkness when they feel alone. I might be their laugh when the world seems so damn serious. I might give them the push to get better themselves.

It’s a big job. I accept being under your microscope because this is where God has me placed today. I’ll keep posting my runs, in hopes that you too will dig deeper and put those shoes on, even if it’s just to walk a few extra steps. I’ll keep posting my happy places in life with honesty and humility, knowing that you might need the brightness. I’ll keep making my videos as I do my darnedest to make real estate better for consumers and for professionals alike. I’ll keep selling houses and challenging myself and my team to find a way to make it better.

And this year, I’m going to do something better. Perhaps one thing, perhaps several things. Want to join me?

Lace ‘em up.