This weekend I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life--a 50 mile trail run
I had trained for four months, putting in loads of miles. I was mentally and physically ready. I had a goal time in mind of ten hours. My coach wanted me to aim for ten hours forty one minutes, but I’m always a little overly ambitious.
We started at 5am and I was off like a shot, heading towards the front of the pack of 68 runners. I was feeling strong, free, and ready.
Then the sun came up. It got hot. We started climbing mountains, gaining ten thousand feet of elevation over the course of the race. I was getting tired, sore, hungry, thirsty, and a bit loopy...
A little over a year ago I made a feature film for forty-five thousand dollars--which is basically no money in the film world. We filmed in Las Cruces, New Mexico and dealt with all kinds of struggles. Like losing a location, crew members leaving the project, rewriting scenes to take place somewhere else.
Completing the film was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. I wasn’t sleeping well, barely eating, trying to remember my lines, direct other actors, and keep everyone positive. It was rough.
I tell people that filmmaking can sometimes feel like treading water in a pool of stress. Just keep your head above water and know that soon you will be able to get out of the pool.
So back to running 50 miles.
My GPS watch wasn’t working accurately. I had no idea how far I’d gone or how far I had to go. I did the math and realized I wouldn't hit my ten hour goal or even my ten hour forty-one goal. I was going be lucky to finish in twelve hours.
I was alone on the trails for the last several hours of the race. I barely saw anyone. I didn’t know if I was in the lead anymore or at the back of the pack. I just knew I had to keep going.
One foot in front of the other. Tread water. Keep my head up.
When I crossed the finish line twelve hours and twenty-six minutes after starting, I was handed a medal--3rd place female. I was completely shocked. But glad I hadn’t given up.
With my feature I stayed focused, one day at a time. One foot in front of the other. Now that we're nearly done with post production, I’m thrilled with the way it came together. We didn’t give up.
Anything is possible if you keep moving forward. Pain, fear, stress, and exhaustion can all feel insurmountable. You aren’t sure you can last another hill or another scene.
But you can. I promise.
I have. And so can you.