(I have to admit I giggled as I messed around with the hyphen placement in the title of this post.)
Tomorrow, my friend Zahida will be completing her first marathon. She’s been blogging about her journey along the way, and it’s been interesting to follow along and witness her ups and downs (and all the insights in between) as she trains her body and her mind for this significant experience. I can’t wait to celebrate her when she finishes this first, but probably not last, 26.2 mile race!
There’s so much about her journey that I can relate to and/or admire. Not because I’m a runner. I am NOT a runner, and I have no desire to be a runner. It’s in the grander scheme of things that Zahida’s experiences have shed some really valuable light on what it means to go after the BAGs in our lives. That’s right:
The BIG-ASS GOALSTM.
I’m sure people out there have written tomes on the marathon as a metaphor or allusion for BAGs: it’s about commitment, it’s about focus, it’s about transparency, it’s about disappointment, and it’s about faith in an end result that you can’t see but you trust will be there eventually. But I think it’s something else that has been so impressive to me about Zahida’s journey.
When you set out to do something like this, sure, you’ve got the goal in mind (well, hopefully!). You may even plan out every step you’re going to take to get there, talk to people who’ve run those 26.2 miles before, find other resources for support and encouragement. You may budget for the time and the gear it’s going to take to achieve the goal.
And then you set out.
But the thing is, you’re working really hard towards something that’s far away, all the while assuming you’re still going to want it when you get there.
What if Zahida had just flat out changed her mind and decided she didn’t want to run a marathon anymore? And should that “what if” be enough to stop her from going after it?
I think this last piece is what I myself struggle with the most when it comes to BAGs (or even signing a three-year contract with a wireless provider). I’m ok with committing to things, but only if I know I want them. What if I say I want to be an astronaut and save up for Astronaut School and then commit to five years there, only to realize halfway through—or worse, after I’ve graduated with my astronaut license!!—that I don’t want to be an astronaut after all?
What then? What about the wasted time, the wasted energy, the wasted money?
I have to be honest, I’ve discovered recently that this is something that significantly hinders me when it comes to going after the things I want.
If Zahida had decided a month ago that she didn’t feel like running after all, would it really have been a waste of her time and energy? Clearly not. She has changed in profound ways. Her body is at its fittest, her mind at its strongest, her confidence is at its highest, and she has learned a lot about who her true friends are (and just how much we love her/how awesome we are hehehe).
I don’t think I understand how good it can be for us as people to go after BAGs, even if we end up pulling a 180 or going down a different path altogether. The opportunities to grow and be refined are there either way.
Of course, I’m off my face with pride that in a few short hours, Zahida will be achieving the goal she set out to achieve—and that she still totally wants it. But either way she would have been a better version of herself, simply for the journey.