#RunPhD: How Much Farther?

What’s the distance to the starting line?

  • Days of missed opportunities as the job / family / car / pet / neighbor / boss demands something more?
  • Weeks of I should have / would have / could have / meant to reasoning as the Monday alarm clock rings again?
  • Months of weather than is too hot / cold / wet / dry / dark / bright / windy / perfect to get out of the routine and into something new?
  • Years of promising “This time, it will be different” and blinking to see December 31 on the calendar again?

I propose that the distance to the starting line is always farther than the one to the finish line. It is harder to show up that very first day than the last day.

The picture above is the finish line I get to after a 2.5 or 4 mile loop in downtown Portland. Some times a long run means multiple loops, so there are multiple times when I get to rejoice at the sight of that fire house and the promise of a break and water just past it.

There was about a year when nearby construction mean this finish line was obstructed by fencing and a required detour that added two or three minutes to the end of the loop. Now, when the run is almost done, and especially if it’s been extra cuss-word-worthy, I am grateful that fence is gone.

It took me years to get to that spot eight years ago. And this weekend, it’ll just take me 15 minutes.

So here’s my question, dear reader: What starting line have you been avoiding?

“The miracle isn’t that I finished; it’s that I had the courage to start.” – John Bingham

I’ve survived 12 marathons and one Ph.D. program. So…now what? I’ve learned through the journeys that it’s not about intelligence, speed, magic beans, or waiting for it to get easy. It’s about strength and perseverance. This year’s blog series will be about #WhatsNext after crossing some major finish lines, and preparing for new starting lines as a runner and a (not that kind of) doctor. I am #RunPhD.

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