This morning, I completed my first half marathon race. It was raining, muddy, and there were large, deep puddles every few feet on the C&O Canal. My shoes and socks were drenched. By mile 1, I felt like my feet were 10 pound weights. I thought about turning around and postponing my goal by just registering for another race on a different day.
Thankfully, by channeling the support of my family and friends as well as the energy of the other runners, I pushed myself to keep going. The instant gratification of getting dry and clean would mean I failed to complete a goal I worked so hard to achieve.
By mile 6, I was having a blast. I no longer tip toed around puddles or tried to avoid being splashed. I embraced the challenge. I focused on the tranquility of the Potomac River. I absorbed the beauty of the plush green trees. I jammed to the music blaring through my headphones. I simply had fun.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson:
“The only limits we have in life are the limits we impose on ourselves.” -Bob Proctor
Let’s keep pushing forward!
Melanie Bates is an attorney based in Washington, D.C. She has a passion for criminal justice reform and believes that poverty, lack of education, and other social issues should not feed the pipeline to prison. Through consistent advocacy, she desires to alleviate the factors that force many people to become a part of the criminal justice system. The views expressed here are her own.