Except actually, I did.
Earlier this summer, my friend asked me to run one of her legs in the Ragnar Relay and I said yes. Not only did I say yes, but I said yes with enthusiasm.
But Saturday was different. It wasn’t hypothetical. It was real. And it was cold. And by the time my friend was gently waking me up at 1 in the morning, I had no desire to get myself up.
I’d already run the one leg I came to run. And now one of our teammates was injured. So it was up to me to run his leg.
Of course, I didn’t know I was going to be running his leg, when I decided to enjoy one or two or four beers around the campfire a few hours earlier.
But I now I knew. And I didn’t want to do it.
So as my friend wakes me with the words,
“You’re up next.”
The internal questions begin to surface:
“Should I do it?”
Does it matter?”
At this point, our team has already chosen to skip some legs. We’re not in it to win or technically even finish.
So for a moment, I waver.
But then I realize – it does matter.
It matters to me.
It matters that I choose to follow-through on this undertaking.
Forget comfort, I am committed.
I drove all the way up the mountain. I’m sleeping in a tent. I’m freezing cold. And I figure, if I’m going to put myself through all of that, I might as well get the satisfaction of running this leg.
I rummage through the dark, find my running pants, my socks, my gloves and my shoes. I get myself dressed and walk to the starting line. And then, when my teammate comes in, I take the bib number and headlamp and I climb 2400ft up a mountain in the dark – for no other reason, than because this is exactly what I signed up for.
As a business owner – every single day you’re going to be faced with the choice between comfort and commitment. And when it’s real. And it’s hard. And rejection is on the line, you’re going to want to choose comfort.
But coming home from that run, what made the whole thing worth it, was doing that extra leg in the dark. Choosing to follow-through. It didn’t change the outcome for the team but I got to enjoy the satisfaction of proving to myself that not only can I do hard things, but that I will do hard things.
“Run from what’s comfortable. Forget safety. Live where you fear to live. Destroy your reputation. Be notorious. I have tried prudent planning long enough. From now on I’ll be mad.” -Rumi