“I’ve decided to run a marathon,” my friend told me last week.
“Oh, uh, you are? I didn’t realize you were, like, a runner now,” I not-so-subtly replied.
“I’m not, but I bought this book,” she says as she hands me a paperback copy of The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer.
I open it up to Chapter One and read the first sentence:
We human beings have a unique capacity to make our own reality.
Now, to be clear, I’m not a runner either. You could call me more of the “yoga / leisurely walk” type…
But this overly simple perspective on what it takes to complete a rather complex physical feat had me intrigued.
The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer is based on a “Marathon 101” class taught by the University of Northern Iowa, which has been taken by over 200 students.
The theory behind both the book and the class is simple:
To run a marathon is less about what physical shape you’re in before you begin training, and more about your mental ability to decide to do it, and then simply — do it.
The strategy is based on a four-month, four-day-a-week workout plan for non-athletes who have no running background.
The goal is to realize that you are capable of more than you ever thought possible.
Months of training?
No previous background?
Capable of more than you thought possible?
Training for a marathon was starting to sound a lot like the experience of Factory45.
In this age of instant gratification — when we can have food delivered in 20 minutes, get 50 “likes” on an Instagram in an hour, and find a date with a swipe to the right — it’s easy to get impatient with long-term goals.
It’s just not that glamorous to put in the hard work —
Especially with social media constantly reminding us of how perfect everyone else’s business and life is.
But the truth is, if I set out to run a marathon tomorrow — without training for months — I wouldn’t make it anywhere near the finish line.
The same goes for starting a company.
If you’re not expecting to put in the time, dedication and right attitude, then it’s probably not for you.
The process of building a business is no different than the process of building endurance for distance running:
You take one step at a time.
And you take those steps knowing that it’s not always going to feel good, but it’s going to be worth it.
Just as one runner says in the book, “By staying relaxed, centered, and positive you can handle just about anything that comes your way.”
Because the truth is, if you don’t keep putting one foot in front of the other, then you’ll never find out how far you really could have gone.