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How much are you willing to sacrifice?

In my first marathon I was overtaken by family with kids and church group, which was heading for a 11 o’clock mass. When I hit the infamous “wall” I just stopped. Only the fact, that I didn’t know how logistically you abandon the race held my back from actually abandoning the race.

When I was scampering (in my mind at least) in the  final kilometer, one of the tourists asked me which way is the castle of Wawel, because he thought I’m a local, who went for a walk.

All right, maybe it was not so bad, but it was pretty bad. I was going very slow and I owe my time, sub 4 hours, only to my dad’s endurance genes, which he passed on to me.

Fast forwarding 11 years, today I run 10km in 34:40, halfmarathon in under 1:16 and if I decided to go for the full one, even 2:35 wouldn’t be out of my reach. For a long time I was convinced that running 15k under 1 hour is impossible for me and today I go faster in training. I’m not saying all that to show off (although who knows), but to show that we are far away from our reaching our full potential. Not only in sport, but in every part of life. Off course, under one condition – that we are willing to develop and we’re not afraid of hard work. Because work is the key to success. It’s pretty straightforward truth, but often forgotten.

When we line out at the start and we see those skinny, fast runners, we think that they are so fast, because they were born that way, they like to run and they run a lot. That their life is most likely less complicated than ours, that they don’t have much stress at work, mortgage and time-consuming family. We forget or we are not aware, that they often get up at 5 for a morning training session, that they run in rain, cold, heat or even worse, during their vacation. They sacrifice a lot to improve and they encounter moments of crisis more often than you think. What separates them from regular people is their motivation and priorities.

Fast are furious when they can’t do their run, because training is something important to them. It’s often unpleasant, but important. They schedule their days in a way that allows them to squeeze in that one or 1,5h of running. Or if there is no space in the schedule, they make space.

The right motivation is the best weapon against biggest enemy of improvement, laziness.  Thanks to it, we get out of the house when it rains, when our energy fades, that little devil whispers that we should stay home and play some charades, but we don’t listen and still put on running shoes and later get some Endomondo echolades.  Thanks to motivation we go above and beyond and add something extra, just like unnecessary rhymes into the blog post.

At this point probable some of you think – but I don’t want to run, I don’t care for it and it will never be either a priority or a source of motivation. And that’s fine, it doesn’t have to be. What is important though, is to apply those rules into your everyday life. To have something you want to improve in and to be eager to chase excellence. It could be work, hobby, relations with other people or spiritual life. We can’t be jealous of other people’s success, because we don’t see how much work they put in and how much they sacrifice. We should keep on moving, not standing still and enjoy the progress we are making. We should not settle for being average in at least one area in our life.

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