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{Monday MotiBright} “The Race is Long, but…” ~ Mary Schmich

The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. ~ Mary Schmich
The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. ~ Mary Schmich

Yesterday I ran the Stampede.

I ran it last year, too – the 5k distance. For those of you who’ve never heard of it, the Stampede is an obstacle course race held all over Australia. You might have heard of another OC race – like the Warrior Dash or Tough Mudder. They’ve become pretty popular in the last few years.

You might wonder what prompts people like me to get up early in the morning and subject themselves to running multiple kilometres over cross country hills and dales, interspersed with crawling under barbed wire through mud pits, dunking themselves in ice baths, running through a field of hanging electrical wires while jumping over hay bales, and throwing themselves down the side of a hill in the world’s biggest slip-and-slide.

Because it’s FUN. And it’s a challenge.

Basically, it’s a playground for grown-ups. A chance to dress up (yep, lots of people do) run around, get dirty, yell, laugh and generally act like kids – and it’s not only okay to do so – it’s actually the whole point.

Where else in our lives are we allowed to do that?


But you know what the Stampede isn’t? It’s not a race.

It’s not timed. People start in waves every 20 minutes. No-one cares how long it takes them (well, almost no-one).

The only race that matters is the one you have with yourself.

And all that matters is that you enjoy the journey.

I wrote about this very thing a while ago over on Scoutie Girl.

Life – and business – are exactly like this.

There is no point comparing yourself with anyone else. They aren’t running the same race as you.

The only race that matters is the one you have with yourself.

You’ve probably heard me say it before, too – business is a marathon, not a sprint.

And you know what?

It’s not about the destination. It’s not about reaching the finish line faster than anyone else.

In the race yesterday, at one point, I asked a volunteer how much farther it was. Not because I was tired or sore or overwhelmed. It was because I was having SO MUCH DAMN FUN that I didn’t want it to end. I was psyched when he told me there was still plenty to go.

Because if you’re enjoying the race – having fun, being yourself, and sharing laughs, thoughts, and camaraderie with your fellow racers – you’re doing it right.


Van Den has written 319 posts in this blog.

Jess Van Den is the editor of Create & Thrive, and has been a full-time creative entrepreneur since 2010. She makes eco-conscious, contemporary, handmade sterling silver jewellery under the Epheriell label, and blogs about her jewellery and other beautiful things at You can catch her on twitter @JessVanDen.

What say you?