Have you ever watched a baby learning to sit/crawl/walk/roll over? It is amazing to watch the concentration on their faces as they try over and over again to do something that we do so easily. They watch others around them and try time and time again to do something that they have never done before. They can't quite figure it out, but they never give up until one day they actually manage to do whatever it is they were trying to learn. One day, all of a sudden, a baby actually makes forward progress or gets to their hands and knees or pulls up to standing. One day a baby will sit all by themselves without anyone holding them up...until they fall. The most amazing thing is that while they may cry for a minute when they fall, almost as quickly they are trying it again. They never give up for long because they seem to know that that next milestone is within their grasp if they just keep working. The best part is that once they learn one thing they don't just sit and bask in the glory of it, they move on to the next challenge. Babies never stop learning, trying or doing. This is what amazes me the most. All I can think is that we must all be born optimists. How else can you explain that as a baby we keep at something that we have failed at a hundred times. At what point do we become cynical enough that we stop trying? At what point do we start setting a limit on the number of times we try before we give up on a dream? What is the difference between the dream of crawling or walking and the dream of running a marathon or throwing a killer dinner party?
There is a fine line between dedication and obsession, but sometimes I think we need to learn from the babies of the world and try a little harder to meet our goals. After watching my daughter go from dragging herself a few feet to get to her favorite toy to scooting her way under the coffee table after the cats I have decided to rededicate myself to a goal that I've had for a long time. I am going to run what has been called "the hardest 8-miler you'll ever run" this September. That's right, I said September, I'll be training through the summer months. Wish me luck!