life coach & mentor


Conquering the Mountain to Conquer Ourselves

September 5, 2021

One of my new favourite quotes is from Sir Edmund Hillary: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves“.

This quote speaks to me in particular in relation to my running. I do not enjoy running, but it has become something that I am now doing regularly over the past few years. It works for me because I can do it anywhere and I don’t need to rely on a gym or any equipment – very useful when travelling or COVID-19 pandemics. Plus I know it works to lose weight, tone my legs and provide a great cardio workout.

My Mountain

About 12 years ago, I started thinking about running a marathon, and I have no idea why. I wasn’t running at the time. I didn’t know anyone who had run one. I must have seen something or read something somewhere. But the seed was planted and it was something I thought about from time to time but figured that I would never be able to do.

Then in 2018, I started thinking about marathons again, and I wanted to get back into shape and I liked the idea of having a goal. As I started researching marathons for fun, I found several articles on half marathons. Half marathons were interesting because it seemed more plausible than trying to complete a full marathon. Still, I had doubts.

Then I started looking at beginner half-marathon training plans and it turned out they had plans that included run/walk intervals. Now that I knew I could do!

However, while having a goal was one thing, I also needed some sort of motivation or reward. I wanted to make it more exciting, and for me, there is nothing more exciting than adding another country to the list of places I’ve been! It turned out that Kuwait had a marathon planned for late 2018 where I could hop over for the weekend (from Lebanon) and then continue on my way to Goa for a yoga holiday. Motivation: check!


Photo by Daniel Reche from Pexels

After an injury or two and quite a bit of pain, I completed a half-marathon in the Kuwait Gulf Bank 642 Marathon on 17 November 2018. I followed my run/walk interval race plan. I finished in 2 hours and 48 minutes.

I knew before I started the race – days before the race, that I was ready and that I would complete it. (I just hoped I wouldn’t be the last one across the finish line!) By the time the race I started, I felt like I had already accomplished everything I had set out to do.

I knew I had become a new version of myself. I had become someone who had chosen a goal and did the work to get it done. I have to say, I was pretty emotional about this accomplishment. It was the first time in many years that I had set any type of goal for myself and I was pretty proud.

Race Jersey

Setting Big Goals

In setting big goals for ourselves, regardless of what they are, we learn who we are and what we are capable of. Spoiler alert: we can always do a lot more than we think we can. The type of goal is not important, nor is whether we accomplish it. It is about who we become along the way. It is about upleveling our lives. We become the next version of ourselves. We grow and learn.

So, I cannot recommend enough setting big goals for yourself and learning what you’re capable of. Dream big. Take massive action.

You got this.

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