In three attempts, I have never started or finished a marathon. These attempts included four sets of running shoes, more than 1,000 logged miles, $180 on registration fees, $60 on a training class, torn hamstrings, runner’s knees, ankle pain, blisters, nights where I slept less than five hours and a weakened pride.

Many people have run a marathon, but I don’t know anyone else who has had to quit training for three different 26.2-mile races because of an injury. In other words, I just won’t give up. And I want to encourage others to pursuit their dreams, even when they experience “failures” along the way.

A fellow runner told me there are only two obstacles that prevent someone from finishing a marathon. The first is an injury; the second is never starting. Well, more than two years ago I started something. I had a dream (and still do) to complete a marathon, and I know some day soon I will do it. And although injuries have stood in my way temporarily, they will not stop me from what I have already started. This can be applied to any goal. Never starting is a guaranteed failure. Other than that, what’s stopping you?

Finishing a marathon is just one example of a goal or dream. People have all sorts of goals for personal reasons only they can understand. And whether your goal is to start your own business, write a novel, run an adventure race, lose 100 pounds, tour the world or retire at age 35, it will probably take you more than one try. You will probably fail at least once, and most people will not believe in you. Other than my boyfriend, a nonrunner who surprised me with a GPS watch for my birthday, few people have encouraged me to keep running. And other than my dog who runs every mile at my side, no one is there to push me out the door. But that’s OK, because I believe in myself. And that’s what matters most when you are after something you want.

This is what marathon training has been for me, and I know everybody has a dream like this they are chasing.

(See my previous post on marathon training here.)