We can all agree that most of us don’t follow the sport of long distance running.
Am I right?
In fact, most of us have probably never watched a long distance running race with the sole purpose to see who wins it. If we have watched a marathon it was most likely because someone we knew and loved was running their race and we wanted to support them.
So why are millions of non-marathon watching people wholeheartedly celebrating the fact that Eliud Kipchoge smashed the two-hour marathon barrier?
I believe it’s because we want to know that it’s possible to do the seemingly impossible and when someone changes our perception of what’s possible, it makes us feel inspired and hopeful. We love to piggyback off the emotions of someone else’s glory. And that’s a good thing because it reminds us that barriers are more-often-than-not, a perception —> not an actual reality. And as we know historically from when Roger Bannister ran the first sub-4 minute mile, once one person shows us its possible, it opens up the gate of possibility for more of us to follow.
When I found myself leaning into the celebration of Eliud’s win, I wondered why I read 5 articles chronically the victory of a runner I’d never heard of in a sport I never watch.
Here’s why ….
It sparked a place within me that reminds me how important it is to culture my own dreams – no matter how impossible they may seem. When I see other people crush their desires, I want it too. It’s the same reason I cry no matter how many times I watch The Blind Side, am chronically intrigued about J.K. Rowling’s successive no’s before she hit it big with Harry Potter and feel infinitely inspired by Sara Blakely’s story (she’s the Spanx empire founder – Spanx are horrible but her grit is inspiring). I want to feel what it’s like to so sustainably believe in my dreams that my dreams become my reality.
It’s easy for me to look at someone else’s triumph and to create a story around why it’s different for them. The story becomes that people on the other side of accomplishment had more support, more encouragement and a team of people behind them. That somehow it was more possible for them.
I know it’s bullshit, though.
I’m sure Eliud has doubted himself a million times. #human . I’m certain his inner critic has told him that he’s not good enough, fast enough and worthy enough. I’m sure there have been many things that have happened along his journey that would’ve made it easy (and maybe even appropriate) for him to have given up. But somewhere deep inside he found a way to believe in himself more than he doubted himself.
It inspires me and in the celebrating of his accomplishment I reach inside for the seed of my dreams yet realized.
It empowers me to believe in myself more and to put more energy into my dreams despite what is going on for me in my here and now. That’s the real reason why I love that Eliud just smashed the two-hour marathon barrier. #selfawareness.
Maybe you felt nothing around Eliud’s win and maybe it’s rare for you to feel inspired by the incredible stories of victory of others. The lack of resonance tells me that this isn’t a message for you. However,
If you find yourself completely inspired by the victory of other people’s dreams, ask yourself ~ what is the dream within you that lies unrealized? And how much do you honour this within yourself? Do I give to myself the way I would give to my loved ones who yearn for their dreams to be realized? How can I honour me – even when the dream feels impossible? It doesn’t need to be a world record or a multimillionaire dollar success to be worthy, a dream is a dream. It’s within you because it’s FOR you.
Thank you Eliud for reminding me that the impossible is really I’-M—P-O-S-S-I-B-L-E.
Here’s to growing the seeds of our dreams,