My passion for running has been over 10 years in the making, and I owe a great deal of my running passion to my Dad. He may not know this or take credit for this, but he is a big reason I ran my first marathon. I was once at a family gathering at my aunt’s house and happened to be looking at their family pictures. One of the pictures was a photo of my uncle running a marathon. I talked a little bit to my uncle about his running, and it started to spark my interest. I later was speaking to my dad and jokingly mentioned that we should run a marathon, like my uncle. You have to understand at the time I did not do much running for fun, if I did run it usually involved a ball. I never had run a 5k, let alone a marathon.
Well, time passed since I spoke to my dad and I don’t know that I thought much more about it. That is, until my Dad came home and said “I signed us up for a marathon!” I was shocked. I did not know that we were ready to do this. I probably expressed my concerns to my dad, and he saw this as a great opportunity to teach me a lifelong principle. He chimed in with something like this, “sometimes you have to throw your hat over the fence to make things happen. Sometimes you may have a hard time trying to get to know the neighbors, but if you throw your hat over the fence then you have to go to their door to retrieve it, and consequently meet the neighbors.” I don’t know that I internalized the significance of that statement, at the time, but I have since done so. We are not currently ready for the race but let’s throw our hat over the fence, pay the money, and make it happen.
It makes big goals so simple. You try to create situations that almost make you obligated to follow through. Nike has said it for a long time, just do it! I understand that signing up for a race does not automatically make you ready for the race, nor does it really make you obligated to do the race. However, it is a beginning and a step closer to achieving your goal.
So, if you have been debating whether to sign up for a race or to try the “next step” in your running adventures…throw your hat over the fence! Just do it! Make it happen! You will be glad you did.
Jeremy Stoker, DPT
Runner – Physical Therapist