Last year my husband left for a 10-month deployment to Afghanistan. As we all know, this is a lengthy and painful stretch of time. Some might compare it to running a marathon-a long 26.2 miles-where staying focused and strong is a must. Besides being a stay at home mother of two, I decided I needed another challenge during this deployment to keep me “busy”. So, I teamed up with a friend to train for my first marathon! I think friends and family thought I had lost my mind (in a loving way), which of course made me even more determined to do this. : ) Rather than outlining months of daily activities and many miles, I will tell you that my family crossed the deployment finish line on October 27th, 2011. Hallelujah!! Three days later, on the 30th, I crossed the Marine Corps Marathon finish line and I even have a medal to show for it, not to mention my hubby was there to see it (which meant more to me than anything!)
Here are five things I learned during our marathon deployment and you don’t have be a runner to use them…but if you are, they sure help! : )
- Focus on and celebrate the time or distance you have accomplished, not how far you have to go…
- Keep a good buddy close by. The support is priceless.
- Rest. Take a week off and don’t stress about it. In the grand scheme, it will only do you good. Perfection is NOT a must.
- Reward yourself often…a decadent milkshake after an 18-mile run or a movie night with your best friend…you deserve it!
- Remember you are a role model for somebody…whether it’s another military spouse, a friend, a sibling, or most importantly, your children…show them that it can be done. Set a goal (whatever that is for you) and go for it!