Letter to the editor written by Sam Richardson

This past Saturday, I ran my first ultramarathon! After an exhausting eight hours and 41 minutes of wading through the sand, scrambling over red-orange slickrock, eating granola bars and looking out across some of the most beautiful desert scenery in the country, I finished the Antelope Canyon 55 km (34 miles) and gratefully returned to my hotel room to eat ice cream and post about my race on social media.

The next morning, I woke up really sore and read a comment to my post from one of my good friends. She said, “Awesome! You proved that you have mind over hurts. Like your determination!”

Other than boosting my ego, this post started to make me think. I had been dreaming of this race for almost two years, but success didn’t come when I was dreaming, it came when I was doing. It came when I made my training schedule, ate healthy, woke up early on the weekends to go running and finally ran 34 miles. My success came when I put my mind over hurts.

Success doesn’t come easy. Ask anyone you know who is successful, from a baker to a CEO, and they will tell you it wasn’t easy. In fact, they will probably tell you it hurt and that sacrifices had to be made. To some, sacrifices dissuade them from starting something, but that begs the question: If it doesn’t hurt, then is it success?

It hurts when you have to sacrifice hours of your free time to study for an exam. It hurts when we spend hours with a loved one helping them fight an addiction. It hurts when the change we so desperately want is shut down by our leaders. Hurting is hard.

But when you place mind over hurt, you will begin to have success. That’s when you graduate with a degree you never thought you’d have. That’s when you watch your loved one become clean after all of those dark nights. That’s when you see the change you never thought you’d see. That’s when you finish the race you never thought you’d finish.

Each of us has opportunities in our lives to be successful in anything that we want. Not all of us want to be successful in running a 55 km race, in fact probably only the crazy ones want to. But what do you want to be successful at? Find that out. Make a plan and be ready to hurt, because success only comes when you put your mind over hurt.