I watched the movie “The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey” the other day while I was recovering from a horrible 18 mile run. The idea of doing anything more than sitting and watching whatever was already on was more than I could imagine. So when the movie came on that’s what I watched. If you haven’t seen it Biblo Baggins is a hobbit (imaging that) which ends up leaving the comfort of his simple life to go out on an adventure. Biblo had never planned on going on this adventure and frequently regretted his decision to leave the comfort of home. Numerous times Biblo was looking for his escape to get back to what he knew, but something kept pulling him back in.
There where people that doubted Biblo was equipped and ready to make the journey and quite honestly at the beginning he wasn’t. The good thing about Biblo’s adventure as with any other is you don’t have to be an expert or be fully prepared to head out. Any adventure is going to be a learning process. I ran my first half marathon last year and was completely satisfied with myself. I felt good about my accomplishment in the half and cheered on my brother in law as he finished his first full marathon. I told my wife that night that I had no desire to do a full marathon. That wasn’t something I was looking at accomplishing and felt accomplished enough with what I had done.
Over the next several months Run Richmond was born and I started feeling a push to go on my own “Unexpected Journey”. I felt like a marathon was the next step in me truly understanding the needs of the local running community. I still was hesitant to sign up, just as Biblo was, but I knew that is was a journey that I needed to make, just as Bilbo did. I am about a month away from the Horse Capital Marathon and my journey is not getting any easier. I am battling a sore knee, issues with (self inflicted) chronic dehydration, and a schedule that is too busy for hours longs runs. But, just as Bilbo did, I will continue to push on.
See I wasn’t prepared to run a marathon when I started the journey, and I still don’t know if I ever truly will be. I do know that the journey has given me a new respect for people that do. The journey has given me the self realization that I can fall into a lazy slump and avoid difficult tasks. Most importantly is has shown me that along the way people and things are going to be put in my path to help me figure out the next step. That is all that really matters with any great adventure. Figuring out how to get the courage to take the next step. That step could be as simple as finishing the last mile of a long run, or as big as walking away from a toxic relationship. Your next step can only be determined by you.
In reality the marathon is just the next step on my journey the marathon isn’t my destination. After that I need to figure out what comes next. How can I grow as a man, husband, father & friend, how can I help make the lives of those around me better. How can I focus more on the needs of others than my own selfish desires. Life is an unexpected journey, don’t let fear keep you from taking the first step out on your next adventure.