Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Facing Challenges


Challenges are opportunities for growth, which makes it important to step outside of one's comfort zone every now and then.

Recently I overcame a tremendous personal challenge: I ran my first marathon last month! (Hence the lack of blogging in May.) For those of you who are unfamiliar, a marathon is 26.2 miles (or 42.19 kilometers). I finished in 4 hours, 28 minutes, 47 seconds.

Although exercise and fitness (particularly running), are some of my hobbies, I was unsure if I should blog about this accomplishment on Classy Local. As this is more of a lifestyle blog, I wasn't sure how this connects to my focus on living a chic and refined life. Anyone who's ever run or witnessed a marathon knows that refined, chic, and classy are not the best ways to describe distance runners, particularly those in the middle of a grueling endurance event.

But, living a chic or refined life does not necessarily mean living a life of perpetual ease or harmony. Rather, it reflects the attitude with which you approach all aspects of ordinary life especially the challenging moments.

When I was running my marathon, it predictably got quite harrowing, especially from miles 18-25. Yet, even when I was feeling my worst, part of me was thrilled. I was doing it! I knew that once I got through those grueling, painful moments (it was actually hours, but comparatively speaking, mere moments in the course of a lifetime), I would have an amazing story to tell for the rest of my life.

Other challenges, those we do not choose, may at times be unwelcome, but can also make life more interesting. Life experiences, both good and bad, can make us more compassionate, more resilient, or hopefully (at the very least), a bit wiser. These qualities are what make us unique and what give us our own stories to tell: that inner mystery or intriguing je ne sais quoi! Even during difficult times in my personal life, I try to remind myself to look ahead and to just get through itwhatever the challenge is that I am facing. I'll remind myself that in a week, month, day... it will all be behind me and that I will be a stronger, wiser person from the experience.

Don't run from challenges or ignore them! Face them head-on with grace and confidence. Remembering that life goes on and that our struggles are temporary can help to make any challenge more bearable.

Two for Tuesday questions:
  1. What challenges are you proud of having overcome?
  2. How do you handle difficult situations (or people) with grace?
Some of the world's best artwork is inspired by adversity, such as the statue in the above photo, which was taken in 2012 while I was vacationing in Germany with my husband and sister-in-law. The statue is located at the Marienplatz in Munich and is meant to symbolizes the people's triumph over famine.

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