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August 23, 2007


i popped over to laurie's blog and was reading through her thoughts on what running has done for her confidence. it's crazy and true. this sport, running, or any endurance sport for that matter, has the uncanny ability to bolster our self confidence.

up until i started running long distances, i'd never really 'accomplished' anything on my own. the marine corps is all about team work and there were times when i'd slacked and let others pull some of the weight. i'd been somewhat of a punk-esque poser in high school. i'd not finished the degree program in college. sure, i'd succeeded at stuff, but not necessarily as a result of really hard work. it was sort of that "when b's come easy, why study for an a?" mentality.

and then in 2002, a friend talked me into running a marathon. we were going to train it and run together. the short story is that he ended up with pf and i trained and ran the thing alone. and i tanked. i had to walk during miles 22-24. and that just kind of fell in line with the rest of my life. kinda sorta going the whole distance. a few days of stewing in that though, and a new fire was born inside me. i had to redeem myself. i had to get the name 'marathoner' by running the whole thing.

over the course of the next few years, i put in some good, hard training and finally pulled off a sub four hour marathon. at that point, i felt like i'd earned the title. at that point, self confidence began to ooze out of me. more and more epic events, faster race times, larger projects at work, bold steps in faith; they all were mostly a result of the self confidence that was born of running.

i think back on a friend at work that had serious self confidence issues when i first met her years ago. some of those issues really affected her ability to work well with other people. then she started running. now, several years later, she has a handful of marathons under her belt, several tri's and even a half iron distance. and she's a completely different person. able. confident. adventurous.

i am of the school of thought that going through the long training required for difficult endurance events and then completing said events is a great recipe for self enthusiasm, self motivation, self discipline and self confidence. what was it paul said?

Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I buffet my body and make it my slave, lest possibly, after I have preached to others, I myself should be disqualified. I Cor 9:26-27

so go. run. be confident.

Posted by jeff at August 23, 2007 9:12 AM

I think you put it even better than I did. You at least made me think of running's effect from a different angle.

I love my new confidence and I'm glad you found yours too.

Posted by: Laurie at August 23, 2007 10:30 AM

What a wonderful post, Jeff! So true. I will be thinking about this on my run tonight. :)

Posted by: Annalisa at August 23, 2007 10:51 AM

It only works if you let it work. Thanks for the hot tip (I have a little more work to do).

Posted by: 21stCenturyMom at August 23, 2007 11:02 AM

Will do.

Posted by: Juls at August 23, 2007 11:29 AM

Amen! People who don't run, can't fathom what I get out of the miles, but they do make me feel great and amazed every time.

Posted by: Amanda at August 23, 2007 11:44 AM

This is so where I am right now.

Posted by: jank at August 23, 2007 5:04 PM

One of the great benefits you don't really think about when you are training.

Totally true.

Posted by: ali at August 24, 2007 4:58 AM

Great blog, sweetie. It's amazing how all of life is summed up in Paul's note to us. The quote is 'Right On'!
Love you, Mom :)

Posted by: CC Smith at August 24, 2007 7:51 AM

I absolutely identify with this. Running quickly became much more to me than a way to manage my weight. I like how you explained how the confidence you developed affected not just your work and personal self-worth, but also your faith.

Very cool, Jeff. Thanks, I needed that!

Posted by: Karen in Calgary at August 24, 2007 4:29 PM

Great post, Jeff...great perspective. I didn't realize you took up running so recently.

You'll encourage tc with that verse as well, I'm sure!

Posted by: Joe at August 24, 2007 6:19 PM

What a lovely and applicable post. Thanks, jeff!

Posted by: Meghan at August 25, 2007 8:13 PM

Cool post Jeff. Now that i think of it i would have to agree. I haven't yet come across a marathoner who lacks confidence.

Posted by: Bruce at August 26, 2007 2:35 AM

So true. (Your Mom beat me to the "Right On!" comment.)

Posted by: darrell at August 26, 2007 4:49 PM

great post, and came at exactly the moment I needed it. Thanks!

Posted by: jeanne at August 27, 2007 4:35 AM

This is beautiful. I bookmarked it a few days ago, and waited until I had time to really synthesize it. Great post, Jeff. Thank you.

Posted by: Donald at August 27, 2007 1:13 PM
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