I used to run marathons and ultramarathons for kicks because I loved the feeling at the end that comes from knowing we are capable of far more than we think. But to get to the finish line in an ultramarathon, you can only run five minutes at a time. You don’t think about the next 30 or more miles because it’s too much. You go into overwhelm; your mind spins and your body rebels. To tackle uncertainty and a big challenge, you need to break it into small, manageable pieces. For me, that meant that during long, ultra-running races, I had to focus only on the next best step. I ran from river crossing to big pine tree to ridgeline to mountain peak in five minute intervals. I learned that you can go a long way five minutes at a time.
I’m going to take this next month of surgery, recovery, and radiation in the same manner. What do I need right now? Who can I ask for help with this? What is my goal for the next 5 days or 5 minutes? I want to bring the calm of a clear lake to every decision and sleepless night. I’ll need your help. You can remind me to focus on five. We can visualize all of us reunited and thriving in September. And we can all visualize this nation healing one step at a time.