Motivation Monday: The “one foot in front of the other” edition

When we first moved to Virginia Beach in January, I posted a few photos of the beach near our house, where I enjoyed slow, solo runs on the hard-pack sand. The main obstacle was protecting my face from wind-burn as the brisk, icy Bay breeze whipped across it. When I’m in D.C., running up a difficult hill on city streets, I fantasize about the simple beauty of this run.

Fast-forward to this past weekend, when that same beach looked like this:

Warm sunshine and 80-degree temperatures led to huge crowds at my formerly private beach. Huge crowds led to chopped-up, loose sandโ€”a far cry from the hard-pack I enjoyed all winter. And chopped-up, loose sand led to a need for some adjustment on my part.

I spent the first mile cursing the ground slipping away under my feet, and internally complaining about how if I’d known the sand would be like this, I would have chosen a different route. In short, I spent a lot of time wishing my run was more in line with my expectations, and less like it actually was. I sorted through my mental playlist of favorite mantras, but they fell flat. I thought about turning around and heading home, trying again the next day.

Then, I decided to lose the mantras, the expectations and the other internal chatter, and just try to put one foot in front of the other. I did that for a minute, then another minute, and then suddenly, it was time to turn around.

This wasn’t a new life lesson for me, or a novel thought. But it was a nice reminder that when you think you can’t go on, you can usually get pretty far by the simple act of putting one foot in front of the other.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Motivation Monday: The “one foot in front of the other” edition

  1. It seems so obvious, but as you point out, how often we talk ourselves out of what we can accomplish!
    You’re ready for an ultra. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s all it takes. You always get it done if you can keep your mind on putting one foot in front of the other.

    • An ultra … I shudder at the thought! And yet, I totally understand the appeal, based on your descriptions. The idea of having nothing to focus on but the (seemingly simple!) task of putting one foot in front of the other for hours and hours on end is pretty excellent.

  2. variations in the sand running on the beach…good dilemma’s to be sorting with on a Monday.

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