“Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind.” — Aristotle
Suffering is defined as undergoing pain, distress or hardship. In 2018, I checked the box on all three…and loved every damn minute of it!
First of all, I’m a runner. I signed up for a trail marathon and got in via a lottery. The hours and miles training were long and monotonous. On race day, not only did I conquer 26.2 miles, but also 11,288 feet of elevation change. Near the end of the race, it was all mental; my mind finding ways to switch off the pain and focus on the end goal. Then, a month and a half later, I ran an ultra marathon covering 32 miles in just under 8 hours. Again, finding a way to mentally succeed when the body told me to hang it up. These two races have been my toughest physical challenges to date.
The professional front also had challenges. I left one job to join the executive ranks at another organization. Four months later, my job was unexpectedly no more. Luckily, I had started my own consulting business on the side and was able to capitalize on that for a few months, helping clients turn their vision into reality. Then, a leader whom I have tremendous respect for offered me a position, which I accepted and now am helping grow the company globally. My family and I had some stress for awhile, but ultimately it all worked out.
Finally, my children are getting older and one is now a middle-schooler. We’ve had some adjustments at home with this “new norm” and the changes we’ve seen in him. I can’t imagine what he’s experiencing, but I’m trying my best to be emphatic despite days where I want to rip my hair out.
I’m excited for 2019. I’ve signed up for a 50 mile trail run, looking forward to camping experiences with my family, and the opportunities and value I can deliver in my career. Sure, there will be suffering and challenges this year, but will approach it with gratefulness and mental toughness. Let’s go forth and kick ass in 2019!!