So many of us are faced with a possible once in a lifetime situation of facing isolation without knowing when things will go back to “normal”.
The last pandemic was 1918. Very few are still with us that were around then so this is basically a new experience for the world.
What’s striking is seeing everyone go through this together yet separately. Same external factors, same unknown outcomes and same lack of answers.
So how do we keep moving forward without knowing where the target is ?
How do you persevere in tough times when you don’t honestly know what you have to prepare for?
What comes to mind is comparing this to running very far.
100 miles far.
Last year I decided I was going to start running ultramarathons. So I started training without really knowing how to train. I’ve done marathons before and typically you will knock out two over 20 mile runs pre race. For 100 miles it’s not like you are running a few 90 mile races pre-race.
What I discovered as I dove deeper is it wasn’t even the running that I actually even had to train for it was the mental battle that I had to focus on.
The mental to run daily in the rain and snow. Run when my body hurt and when my feet were ripped to shreds. Run in the dark and in the light. Just keep running and chipping away as I didn’t know what 100 miles would feel like.
What I did know it would come and end and I would finish this race.
To focus on the end of a 100 mile race is difficult and can be overwhelming to even comprehend but when the race started I just started running focusing on not the end but just keeping going. Just like today to focus on an uncertain ending is daunting. Don’t do it.
Just keep moving. I kept moving even when I didn’t want to. I broker my journey into achievable buckets. Sometimes it was just run 500 steps and sometimes just run to the bridge and then to the tree. At each point I told myself I would reassess my next goal. And I did, one mile marker to the next all the way to the finish.
That’s what we can do today.
Uncertainty will pass. It will, but you can’t place all your attention on when that will be. Focus on just getting to that next tree or next marker. Life is a series of events not one moment. Treat it as such.
When I looked back after finishing the race in 21 hours I realized I ran 100 miles over a series of making it to one tree then the next.
Just focus on getting to the next tree.
You got this.