I apologize in advance for the TMI that I’m about to share, but it accurately conveys the point of this posting . . .
Both of my boys were born before their due date—around two weeks early for each. Not only were they early, but the labor was short-lived. So short, in fact, that I was unable to be get an epidural for the birth of my oldest son. That was NOT my intention; I had no desire to be a martyr. I wanted drugs. I begged them to give me drugs.
But no. I guess they thought I had a lot more time and wanted to hold off. Fortunately, my doctor came to check on me. She had just delivered another baby and was told that I had recently arrived at the hospital and had plenty of time.
My doctor did a quick exam and then immediately shouted, “She’s having this baby NOW.”
Relief, I thought. “NOW can I have drugs?” I asked, begged, pleaded, barked. It was a rhetorical question, which really meant “GIVE ME THE DAMN DRUGS NOW.”
And this is the part I distinctly remember . . . one of the nurses responded, “you know what is BETTER than drugs?”
Better than drugs? What could that be? Whatever is better than drugs sounds great. I’ll take it right away.
I shook my head ‘no’ and looked at the nurse earnestly. I was putting my trust in her, only to have her look me straight in the eyes and tell me . . . “PUSHING.”
That was not the answer I wanted to hear.
But, I obliged and took her word for it—I really didn’t have a choice—and pushed. And this “pushing” was HARD. Beyond Hard. The Worst. Pain. Ever. (No wonder my oldest has a bit of a temper; the poor kid heard his mother screaming bloody murder from the get-go.)
In order to PUSH and get through the pain, I had to find my fight, muster up all my strength, and WILL MYSELF through the pain. The payoff was so worth it.
Now that I have your attention, you may be wondering the point to this story.
But I realized that there is another stage in a goal’s completion—the step that occurs about 90% of the way in—the PUSHING stage.
The Messy Middle is the stage when you begin to doubt yourself; you may feel stuck and unsure about how to proceed with your goal.
The Pushing Stage, however, comes after that. It’s when the finish line is in sight, but still far enough away that REAL, ROLL OF YOUR SLEEVE work needs to be done.
It’s when extreme FOCUS needs to take place in order to break through and surpass anything standing in the way.
Runners often apply the two-thirds rule for completing marathons. They must manage their pace in order to save the energy needed to make it to the very end of the race. About two-thirds in is when they give themselves permission to PUSH. It is then that they dig deep and push their mind past the pain—past their temptation to quit.
As one runner writes, “It can be terrifying to push one’s mind and body to the ‘pain cave’ that runners reach in an all-out race effort, the one where your whole body is screaming to your brain to stop.”
The above quote is from an article written about an amazing student, Logan, from my school. (I encourage you to read it if you would like a real dose of inspiration!) The author (this is her quote) did a wonderful job capturing the essence of Logan’s accomplishment and also the mind-set of runners.
What she describes is the pushing stage. The mind over matter—finish it to the end stage.
In order to have a pushing stage, there needs to be a FINISH LINE. (What is the finish line for your goal?) This finish line has to also have a DEADLINE for when you will complete this goal?
The pushing stage comes about when you see the deadline looming. The deadline is near and you are committed to MEETING (and not delaying) it. In order to meet that deadline and reach that finish line, you must push.
You must. . .
SEE the Finish Line.
GRAB HOLD of you fight and GO, GO, GO, GO.
COMMIT to reaching the Finish Line.
You’re almost there.
You’re almost there.
You have this.
FIGHT through the pain.
You can do it.
GIVE IT YOUR ALL.