It’s not the distance, it’s the sand in our shoes…

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Muhammad Ali

When I was younger I went hiking and had some sand in my boot but since I was in a hurry to get to the top of the mountain I didn’t want to take the time to stop and clean out my boots. I paid dearly for that decision as I naturally developed a huge blister and the entire hike down the mountain was painful.

A similar thing happened to me when I was racing Ironman Florida. I was on the run portion of the race and my shoes/socks were bothering me but I didn’t want to slow down and take the time to readjust and figure out how to get more comfortable. In that moment of the race it felt like those couple of minutes would be a real loss of momentum. Of course, as time went on the problem compounded and the last 5-6 miles of the race were really really painful.

How often does this apply in life? We are on a mission, headed towards our objective and there is “sand in our shoes?” We don’t want to slow down or take the time to take care of ourselves when that is exactly what we should do to ensure that we can achieve our longer-term goals. It’s not the objective itself, it is the little things that add up that make achieving that objective possible.

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Photo by Matheus Bertelli on

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