I’m horribly impatient.
Blame it on working in the tech industry or growing up in an age of broadband Internet and microwave steamer veggies (seriously, you don’t even have to open the package to cook it). Maybe it’s a cliché for people my age to say this, but I’m addicted to immediate results. I would have never made it as an early American settler, because I’d never want to take the time to chop down trees, build a log cabin, and plant crops (and wait months for them to grow). This impatience has been relatively harmless in my running career so far. I have been seriously and consistently training for about a year now, and I’ve seen my weight drop 30 pounds, 10k PR has improved by 11 minutes, 5k – 3 minutes, and I successfully ran my first marathon in under 3 hours, all by just running 70-80 miles per week and showing up for team workouts. But it’s not enough.
This impatience must change.
I probably come off as some self-entitled prick, taking for granted what I’ve done so far. There are people who spend years trying to get to a point where they can run a sub-3 marathon, but I did it first try. But I am continually seeking more. I am trying to improve to a point where I am competing at a national level, running races with athletes who have been running since they were young kids and have put in countless hours, months, and years of running to get to where they are. My nature is to wish I had this ability sooner than later.
Am I asking for too much?
Maybe. But the real question is: Am I seeking the wrong rewards? The whole point of running these races and setting these goals and chasing these times is to continually improve and seek enlightenment about who I really am. In other words, I push myself to run the best that I can run to find my limits, to determine what my best looks like, and use that to apply in all areas of my life. So the problem with setting a goal to be an elite runner is that it doesn’t tell me anything. I could be the #1 marathoner in the country, but if I’m not doing my very best, I’m weaker than I would be if I spent a lifetime trying to get to the next level through dedication and commitment.
I may not ever get to that next level, but I’ll never regret it if I give everything I have to the pursuit.