Never give up on your passion

A few days ago I was trying to organize some personal photos that I have scattered across many hard drives. For whatever reason my client work goes through a nice editing and organizing process but my personal work gets even more cluttered than my desk is. While going through these images I came across a photo from a marathon that I ran a little while back and it got me thinking about the passion that we all have as artists and how we constantly need to feed that passion. This post today won’t have any tips on lighting or Lightroom but I hope it will have some insights to help you in your photographic journey.

I have always enjoyed running since I was a child and mostly run small distances (3-6 miles). For many years I have always wanted to do a marathon but just never had the time to put in for the training and prep. A good friend of mine finally convinced me to sign up for the San Francisco marathon and we started training at least 4 days a week for 3 months leading up to the race. It was a lot of running and with the crazy busy schedule of weddings and portraits right now I did miss some training runs and a few big days had to cut short. But when race day came I was feeling pretty healthy and good. During the training the most miles I did was 17 so knew I had a big feat to finish the 26.2 miles. The marathon day turned out nothing like I though it would be, which really is very much like life in general. A lot of times when you set out to do something new it doesn’t end up the way you thought but you can learn some valuable lessons along the way. So here is a little glimpse into my marathon experience and my thoughts.

FIrst off the race was very difficult, more than I thought it would be. I was challenged with a few knee injuries along the way, that really challenged me and my desire to finish. Everything started out perfect, my friend Matt and I were running along with the 4 hour pace group and feeling great. It was a cool, foggy SF day but not too cold and no wind. We started down the Embarcadero and then up a few hills to the golden gate bridge. Running over the bridge was amazing we I was feeling great. After crossing back over the bridge I started to have a little bit of a pain in my right knee so I had to stop a few times to stretch out. Around the 14th mile my right knee developed into a pretty bad pain and I had to stop and have one of the medics check it out. He said it was a common running injury and bandaged it up. That helped for a few minutes and the pain was back so I had to take it very slow. Then around mile 21 the other knee had the same problem and I had to slow down to a power walk pace (it mostly hurt when my knees bent so I figured out how to do this funky looking walk with my legs straight but curving them around my hips in big strides to go at a better pace than a normal walk). It hurt physically but the hardest part for me was to slow down and not be able to run. I got mad at myself and my knees for a little while and just wanted to give up, I didn’t want to walk the last few miles. I thought that this was a defeat, that I didn’t accomplish my goal if I didn’t run it the whole way or didn’t get a certain time. I am very competitive and didn’t want to let my knee control how fast I ran.

After awhile I saw a guy with a shirt on pass me that read “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up”. That fired me up, it made me realize it really doesn’t matter if it takes me all day to finish this race. I said I was going to complete 26.2 miles and I was going to do it, no matter what. I prayed that God would give me the strength to finish this race and gave him Thanks for getting me this far. I power walked the last few miles in but with my head high, knowing I would finish. And I did finish, with my wife, baby girl, and great friends still there waiting for me at the finish line. In my wife’s eyes I had completed something amazing, it didn’t matter how long it took me to finish. She told me after that seeing me with bandaged up knees, hobbling across the finish line was inspiring she could see the heart and desire that I had to finish the race even though I looked to be in pain.

Looking back at everything I learned a very simple but powerful lesson, to never give up. Not only in running but in everything that I do. It doesn’t matter how long something takes or how messy you look when you finish it, just FINISH IT! Life can be difficult, but you always really have 2 choices when going through something, to keep going or to quit. If you really believe in something never give up, keep going, keep pushing through, keep breaking down walls and you will get to your goal.

I know that sometimes your artistic journey with photography and turning your dreams into a career can be difficult. There are so many joys to running a photography business but along with the joys come hard decisions to make and honestly sometimes you want to give up. But the harder you press through the tough times the faster you will get to the other side and the faster you will overcome!

Today take a minute to think of any goals you may have abandoned over the years, pick them back up and start running or walking or crawling….. you will finish and overcome!

Have an awesome day,

– Mark

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Author: Mark

Mark is a fine art wedding and portrait photographer from Northern California. He has been passionate about photography since childhood and started his studio 12 years ago to bring a fresh style of photography to the wedding and portrait world.

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