Today I went for a run.

It sucked.

Well, correction- the first half sucked. I didn’t want to go. I didn’t sleep well last night, the morning hadn’t gone that smoothly, my well laid plans were slipping away. My husband was pushing me to get out and “get it over with so I can do my stuff.” I could have skipped it, but I decided to go anyway.

There are several places along my out and back route that I could have justified turning around. Top of the big hill. The river. The road with all the mailboxes. The cabins. So much temptation.

I decided to run until it felt good. It’s mostly uphill on the way out, which does mean the hard part happens first. It’s a slog. There are a few rolls, but the hills hit you hard right from the beginning. I ran until I liked it. I ran until my legs felt like they could run forever, then I turned back and cruised home. I arrived in a much better mood than when I left.

As I was running back, it hit me. Before life can be smooth sailing- before you can hit your groove, you have to show up. You have to change out of your pajamas and into your sneakers and go. You also have to keep going. You have to be determined to see it through- to get to a point that you define as success. It will look different to everyone, but it’s probably going to be painful before it can be euphoric.

I have a two year old. I also have a satisfying Beautycounter business educating others on product safety, a full time seasonal job, a part time seasonal job (thank goodness in different seasons) and am working on this blog while dabbling with writing a book. There are days when it takes a lot of energy with little visible results. There are days when you hear nothing but no from both your toddler and your business contacts. Those are the days it’s the most important to keep going until you have a win. It can be tiny- you toddler actually connects the toothbrush to her teeth for two consecutive brushes- you get that email written and scheduled for your email list- you don’t burn dinner. Whatever it is, don’t worry about how others might define that success, but show up and keep going. Strive to be one percent better than yesterday.

Just like a run up a long hill, you will get to the top and it will get easier. Thing is, if you never start up that hill, you’ll never get to the top.

A little determination will go a long way.