"Raising the bar" is an athletic term to do with the high jump, or running hurdles. Its saying I can do this level, now let's see if I can do a bit higher one. It's not accepting what you can do, but trying to do something just a bit harder.
Running for me is all about "raising the bar." I have swam laps weekly for over 12 years now. Only missing out for short periods after each baby was born. I have seen my mile time go from around 50 minutes to my best time of 33-1/2 minutes in those 12 years. (I am a slow learner, it takes me a while.=)) But about 3 years ago I was just needing to "raise the bar" a notch. I had hit a wall with swimming, and wasn't getting any faster. Brian had been running, and he said he would run with me. So I bought some shoes and thus began our running partnership. I could not even run a city block when I started. Over the course of two plus years, I worked up to a half marathon. It challenged me. Last summer I had to get out there and pound the pavement when it was humid, when I had allergies and couldn't breathe, when I was tired. We kept raising the bar by going further. Another mile, another hill. And, it wasn't fun. It is much easier to just stay in bed. To give up.
The bar is again being raised. Though someone might wonder about that. I'm not trying for a marathon. I'm going for the 8 mile Turkey Trot in Dallas. And I'm miles away yet. Raising the bar is still running up another hill, adding another mile. Not giving up.
Today we broke one wall, and were stopped by another. I made it up at 6:30, and made it out the door with all the kids still sleeping. But I got stopped by my breathing. Fall allergies are fighting against me. And I gave up. Its a little discouraging. But, running is my lifestyle. (not my life=)) I am determined to place in my age group someday, though it may finally be when I'm 60, and I'm the only one running in my age group.=) So, even though I suffered a defeat this morning, I also triumphed. And I'm really proud of that. At least I got out there-even though I didn't go far. And I'm not giving up. Tomorrow or Thursday I will get up, and lace on my shoes again. And try again. And Saturday, on my 33rd birthday, I'll lace up, and go for that run, the "zoo run" that I ran for the first time on my 31st birthday. I'll run it to "Dancing Queen," "Bernadette,""I've had the time of my Life,"(that would not be referring to that run=)). It may be slow, it will hurt, but that is where my strong-will (a nicer way to put stubborn as a mule=)) will kick in. The bar has been raised, the goals have been set.
Asked me on Sunday if I made it.=)