Okay, here it is. Proof that we actually finished the Kauai Half Marathon.
As is the case with accomplishing pretty much anything, it took a lot to get to that finish line – training, mental preparation, stamina, etc. Having completed full marathons, we've had it tougher, but this was no cake walk.
I think we enjoy long-distance running because it's a physical manifestation of our sustainability mindset. Many of life's most fulfilling successes don't come quickly; they're often a product of planning and dedication.
Sustainability has been a big topic of conversation for us recently. This subject always seems to pop up when October, our anniversary month, rolls around and we ponder another year together. Today, we'll reflect on how we've made it work for so many years and how we'll make it work for many years to come. At this point our relationship is easy, but it's by no means on auto-pilot.
Cultivating the sustainability of our relationship isn't much different than the effort we put into sustaining a bunch of things in our lives. When we commit to something, big or small – our business, a marathon, travel goals, etc – we always try to maintain a long-haul perspective. Because of this, our choices usually stick, and we rarely find ourselves floundering. Similarly, when we make a bad choice, our sustainability mindset helps us to identify and eliminate it quickly. Quizzically, leaning into a sustainability mindset makes you more comfortable with change. What a bonus!
We were recently taking to a friend who felt conflicted because she had made the decision to walk away from her nomadic lifestyle. Feeling as though she had failed (and fearing the judgment of family and friends), she was beating herself up. She talked of the embarrassment she felt for not thinking through the decision to be nomadic. "Why would I choose to travel non-stop, when I know deep down that I'm the type of person who likes a permanent home?"
Of course she was happy to have seen a lot of the world, but she wanted to start making decisions that more closely align with her values – sustainable, holistic life choices. "I was solely focused on the prize, the travel," she said. "I didn't think for a second about what would happen along the way."
We urged her to focus on the fact that she had figured it out, and that she's moving one step closer to knowing herself more fully. Missteps are critical if you want to live an informed life.
We run long distances, I think, because doing so mirrors our outlook on life. Finish lines are fun, but the good stuff usually happens much earlier – when you're deep in the process. We enjoy the life's planning phase, and we love the good stuff that unfolds during any journey.
We both think of this part of the race (pictured below) – around mile 12 – a lot more than we think about crossing the finish line. Here, we were encouraging each other and digging deep to get through – using the physical and mental tools we've been honing. We even managed to eek out semi-smiles for the camera (not easy when you've just run through a pelting rain storm!).
Today, in honor of our anniversary, I am especially proud of our shared commitment to sustainability. As we head out for some fun – and to start plotting the year ahead – I couldn't be happier to have the perfect partner in this journey.