This past weekend my husband and I ran together in my first 15K, here in Jacksonville, Fl. It’s an annual event, not to mention the largest 15K in the country, that’s held next to the St. Johns River that runs through the heart of the city.
My husband has been a runner for years and convinced me to try it in early 2012. I was skeptical at first because I have always hated running. When I was a young gymnast, I hated vault so much that my coach would have someone run behind me until I finally started sprinting on my own. Throughout my life, in every sport I played, running was a punishment, not something to be enjoyed. But, I took my husbands advice, tried it and was hooked and in March of that year, I ran in my first 5K in Austin, TX.
Between moving back to Florida, working our business, and planning a wedding, we continued to run weekly that year, but not as consistently as we should have or might have wanted to. January 2013 rolled along and Dan decided he was going to start training me for the 15K in March. I was fairly worried at first because up until that point, I had only run 3.3 miles at a time.
Training meant 5AM workouts at least 4x a week. So we started working our way up, running 20 miles a week in some form or another. Saturdays were our days to push up, in the beginning starting with 4 miles, then 5, then 6, then 7 and finally 8. There were times that I loved every minute of our runs and there were times I absolutely hated it. If anyone asks me, I will tell them I have a love/hate relationship with running. Mostly love, but sometimes when you’re on that last mile and your legs feel like they’re about to explode and everything in you is telling you to quit, there’s not much love to be found there.
Finally, it was race day. All the preparation, the training, the eating right, was about to pay off. There is nothing like the excitement before a race, especially the River Run. The adrenaline of 20,000 people is incredibly invigorating. As we crossed the starting line and began to run, the excitement and the adrenaline of the people around you seemed to help carry you forward. In this race there are two bridges to run across, one in the beginning and one at the end. The first bridge is a piece of cake, you’ll see a picture of my husband and me standing in front of it at the end of this blog, but the final bridge is known to River Runners as the “Green Monster”. At the end of the 8th mile you begin the long, excruciating trek over the Hart Bridge which leads you to the finish line and concludes your final 1.3 miles.
I jokingly told my husband and a friend that ran with us, that there is no runners high after running 9.3 miles. Of course there really is, but not until you can breathe again and the blood begins rushing back to your brain.
While I was running through the streets of downtown Jacksonville during the race, with people cheering us runners on along the entire way, I started thinking back over our 2 months of training leading up to the race and realized how similar all of it is to Network Marketing. You start out slowly by yourself and begin building a solid foundation, continuing to push forward until finally reaching the last leg of your race where the momentum of the people in your network are all but carrying you through to the finish line.
In the beginning, it feels like it’s all you and it is! When you’re building your Network Marketing business you are the only one who can do it. Many people believe they need to find the ONE person who will make them the big bucks, but it doesn’t work that way. You need to be the person you want under you and you will eventually find the people you’ve been looking for somewhere along the way. Network Marketing is not the lottery. It’s hard work, just like distance running. If you’ve never run before, you’re not going to be able to go out and run a 15K. It’s just not going to happen. You have to slowly work up to it and train your muscles and your mind to be able to do it.
While you’re running in your race of Network Marketing, there will be multiple bridges along the way you’ll have to cross. Running up them will be the hardest part as you’ll feel like quitting the entire way up, but once you finally get to the top you have a beautiful birds eye view of where you’ve been and you’ll feel as though you’re flying as you race down the other side towards the finish line.
In the end, the reward of accomplishing what you’ve set out to accomplish feels really good and remembering the journey along the way is even better. I had a blast training for the 15K. My husband pushed me to my limits, but we had a fantastic time together every day that we set out for our runs. And each time I’d conquer another mile, it felt pretty indescribable and well worth all of the effort I was putting into it. Network Marketing is no different. The reward at the end is AMAZING, but the journey to the finish line is pretty great. You meet a lot of wonderful people, you learn about yourself, you set and reach multiple goals and when you fail, as you inevitably will, there is always someone there to pick you right back up, dust you off, and give you the encouragement that you need to start again.