An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Try new adventures, be all you can be

  • Published
  • By Chap. (Lt.Col.) Mike Gilbert
  • 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Chaplain
The mummy is finally defeated and, as he slips into the ooze, he says, "Death is but the beginning!" That famous quote from many movies came to my mind as I was attempting the longest run of my life - 10.3 miles. I'm not sure if it was the death or the beginning part of the quote that caught my attention as the miles slowly ticked off.

I am not a long-distance runner and I have told myself that since way back in junior high school. During an early deployment, I remember a fighter pilot telling me that the mind will quit before the body. What we think or believe can dramatically affect what we can accomplish. Once I had accepted the fact that I was not a runner, going for a long run wasn't even a possibility. Why bother since I already knew I couldn't do it?

My original goal for this deployment was to work on my physical training test run of 1.5 miles. My first goal toward that end was to run the full 1.5 miles without taking a break. That seemed like a good goal for a non-runner that needs to pass the PT test. After a few weeks of proudly pounding through the dust, I joined up with my new running partner. She quietly took me on as a project under the guise of running for fun.

Week after week, as the miles were slowly added to our daily runs, a new world was opening up to me. After hearing what our new target distance was for that morning I would usually add my enthusiastic "we're going how far?" It didn't take too long to learn to just say, "alright let's go" I remember one morning when we had only run 2 miles that I felt disappointed in going for such a little run. It began to dawn on me that I was becoming a runner. Somewhere in the process I had put to death the belief that I was a non-runner. It was the death of that belief that opened up a new beginning for me.

What is there in your life that holds you back from a new beginning? Have you accepted a negative claim which now defines what you can do? "I'm not a reader," "I can't memorize," "I can't quit _____ (fill in the blank)," "I'm not religious." All these statements limit us to finite possibilities. It makes a difference finding someone who has been farther down your road and knows what's possible. Maybe it takes allowing someone into your life who can lead you to new adventures. Someone who sees you for all that you really can be.

Death to those self-limits is but the beginning for you.

Oh yeah, I did finish my 10.3 miles. I am a runner!

"Too much sanity may be madness and the maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be." Miguel Cervantes - Don Quixote