Last week I attempted to run the St. George Marathon in Utah, and while it was much more scenic than the last one I was in (the Rock n Roll Arizona in Phoenix), I didn’t finish this time. The pain in my feet and my left-knee, ravaged already from two ACL surgeries, just couldn’t handle all the downhill force.
It was a beautiful place to run a marathon, or try to. I may want to come back here again, because it was such a lovely setting:
After the rescue van picked me up, and I tried not get too upset for getting to mile 20 but not finishing the last six, I was thinking about my fledging copywriting business. How was running this marathon compared to running this venture? I came up with a few ways here, and I’ll talk about the first two.
1.) Train like you mean it
Probably the reason why I didn’t finish was that I didn’t prepare well. The longest run I did in the heat-strained summer here in Denver was six miles – extremely pathetic for marathon standards. It was so easy to tell myself, “Hey, I can get the long run tomorrow – I’ll wake up at 5 AM and beat the hot weather.” Which I never did. My chances to finish would’ve increase ten-fold had I gotten in a few ten to 15+ mile runs in.
With copywriting, I’ve had to come back from years of inactivity and studied like crazy to get back in the game. I’ve had to write every day, even if I didn’t feel like it or felt what I wrote was pure drivel. But the goal was to study and write (thanks to AWAI‘s programs), and sharpen my skills to the point that I can write good copy and market my services to companies I want to work for. I’m not only studying how to write strong, I am also researching companies, studying up on industry news and just developing my professional identity.
Lesson learned: A good training program is essential in both marathon running and copywriting.
2.) Persist, even if you feel like crap
Through the training and during the race, if I felt awful, I would stop and walk. If I kept feeling awful, then I’d cut my run short. That’s what my mind said. What I should’ve remembered was something one of my favorite yoga teachers once told me, “Your mind will always give up before your body does.” That mantra should’ve been my rallying cry during my training whenever I wanted to throw in the towel and go home. When I needed to get the miles in, that should’ve been priority #1 above everything else, my achy body be damned.
On some days with my prospecting, I feel nobody will hire me, not even the bottom-feeders on some of the freelance bidding websites. I think “Geez, if they don’t even want me, then who does?” People in charge of hiring don’t call or email me back, and I want to scream (which I do, internally). I read about people who do succeed, and while I am inspired, I can’t help but feel a little twinge of envy. The prospecting game becomes a hamster wheel, but I have to remember to keep up the efforts, and even try something new that’s out of my comfort zone – like writing articles, or an e-book. Maybe even public speaking (yikes).
Lesson learned: No matter what, keep on truckin’
The other ways will be part of the next entry. Until then…