“God is a metaphor for that which transcends all levels of intellectual thought. It’s that simple.” – Joseph Campbell
What are the chances I’d write my 100th blog on Christmas Eve? I wrote my 99th post over one week ago, and when it came to #100, I went blank. Writer’s block—the marathoner’s equivalent to “hitting the wall.” Do you write something special for your 100th blog? Something profound about writing or running, or both? Should I write about training, races, philosophy, books? Well, the Holiday spirit got hold of me and I decided to just be thankful and move on.
What I’ve learned from running and writing all these years is that reaching milestones is relative, and somewhat anti-climatic. Whether it’s the 100th blog, running Boston or getting published, the thrill last for maybe the rest of the day, okay maybe the following day too, but then it’s time to move on.
I remember laboring on my first post over a year ago, wondering what to write about, if anyone would read it, or if anyone would even care. That now seems like a blur. Same thing with my first marathon in 1981. That was another lifetime. Reagan was in the White House and LeBron James wasn’t yet born. And I recently signed a contract to publish my memoir about the marathon. It will be one of an estimated million books that will be published next year worldwide. That certainly puts things into perspective.
Recently, I hiked on the Appalachian Trail to Hawk Mountain with a couple of my buddies. We hiked and climbed all morning, got to the top and enjoyed the scenery for a bit (actually, it was pretty foggy) and then said, we still have a long way to go, and continued on our way. I think that’s a good way to look at milestones. Stop, enjoy the scenery, but not for too long, and continue on your way. Life is more exciting when you move forward to see what’s around the bend, over the next hill, at the top of Hawk Mountain.
Milestones are simply stops along the way to new destinations. If you hang around too long, progress ceases, as does growth, and adventure, and wonder and fun. This is a good time of year to be thankful for all that you have and the things you’ve done, but it’s also a good time a plan for the year ahead. Always move forward.