Persistence….not perfection.


I had this moment today when I considered skipping my short ride. That happens, right?

In the past I would have easily given up and would have quickly, without much effort, convinced myself that tomorrow was another day. But today, I decided that it could be done, that it would be done, not because it had to be, but because I wanted it to be.

Well the reality is that I just wanted to relax with my family but once I got on my bike I actually rode harder than I typically would have, I felt inspired to give it my all. The sweat was pouring off of my head and it was great.

Less than two years ago I would have been mortified if I was sweating that much, though these days that can happen while I’m standing still, and since my new motto is – “I’d rather smell like sweat than regret” I was celebrating every drop.

Less than two years ago I wouldn’t have even known what  a fuel belt was or body glide or where I should line up in a corral (and that it is not on a ranch or a farm).

Less than two years ago our pantry wouldn’t be line with packets of Justin’s peanut butter, GU, Nuun and Honey Stingers.

Less than two years ago I wouldn’t be excited to call myself a BAMR and try to recruit you to be one too, (sorry guys, Mom’s only ;)).

Less than two years ago I wouldn’t be excited, and frustrated, about finding the right running shoe.

Less than two years ago I wouldn’t have been brave enough to run in public.

That’s a lot of things that I wouldn’t be doing if it wasn’t for persistence.

I used to think that I couldn’t be a runner, because you know, I didn’t have a ‘runner’s’ body. Today, I like that I don’t look like a typical runner…I admit it does get a little deflating when people say “You run?”, but then I love saying, “Yes I do”.  I love being able to say “Hey, if I can do it, anyone can do it” and believe me, I have no doubt that you can do it, and I will be your biggest cheerleader, nothing would give me greater pleasure.

Right now I’m less than forty days away from riding my first century (100 miles, and I wouldn’t have known that either less than two years ago).  I would have never even thought of doing it, but I didn’t even hesitate when the opportunity came up.

In less than two years I have participated in one 10k and two 1/2 marathons. I have other events on my list, and I have been thinking of a duathlon, with a few other exciting goals on the horizon.

I have cheered both friends and strangers across finish lines and I have been nothing less than inspired. (Though I think of the finish line as the starting line, as it’s always a moment that takes me to the next level, both mentally and physically).

When I see someone running I’m envious that it’s not me, and then I take mental notes of their form, their gear…always learning. When I see someone riding, honestly, the first thing I usually notice is their chiseled calves and become jealous. Then I look at their gear and take more mental notes…always learning.

Persistence. It has opened me up to new experiences and new friendships. It has brought me back around to things that I let go of, things that I didn’t realize I was missing. It has reminded me of friendships that were forged long ago and to appreciate them however they have continued.

Persistence. It keeps me going. It helps me appreciate the possibilities and that there is no need for perfection, and I am so happy to let that go.

Persistence. Maybe it’s just a nice way of saying “stubborn” but it has allowed me to overcome obstacles,  and it also reminds me to continue, to endure, to not give up and that every effort is made for a reason and with good reason. For all of this I am grateful.


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Rachel Eagleton


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