Who Are You Becoming?

Susan Donnelly at Moab 240 mile ultramarathon endurance race

A well-practiced banker's smile spread across her face as she said, “I have no ambition.”

“I don’t want to do anything.” 

Smugly, as if she’d escaped the flu.

What to say? My otherwise reliable ability to put myself in someone's shoes failed as I tried to imagine sitting on the beach the rest of my life. Or on the couch watching TV. 

I was stumped.

That conversation came to mind this week after I finished Moab 240.

Because it's so not me. 

I grew up with the heart of an adventurer and I will be daring, exploring, contributing, trying new things, challenging myself, putting myself out there and yes, sometimes failing, until the day I die.

Unlike the banker, I'm driven to do something. For the sake of seeing what I can do. To see what I’m made of. To be fully human. To be alive.

I can’t not do something. I have ambition.

In case you do too, this is my message for you: 


You’ll have setbacks. You'll have low points. You’ll have outright failures. Maybe a lot of them. 

So many you think you’ve lost your way. Or your mojo.

You’ll face doubts, fears, discomfort, exhaustion, other people’s opinions, and all kinds of unexpected obstacles. 

So many that you wonder if it’s worth it all.

Until you remember.

We don’t do this because it’s easy. 

We do it precisely because it isn’t.

We do it to become the person who worked hard for something she believed in, faced her fears instead of avoiding them, didn’t give in to the voice that said “quit,” refused to be tied down by her history, climbed mountains she didn’t think she could, passed what she thought were her limits, fell and got back up again and again, believed in herself long before there was proof, and finally made the impossible happen.

No matter how many setbacks you’ve faced, how many doubts you have, or how far you have yet to go, keep going.

Do it because it isn’t easy.

Do it because it’s hard

Do it for who you become in doing it.