I'm currently a few weeks out from race day for a half marathon that signed up for several months ago. But this race was on my mind years and years ago. I began distance running when I was in summer training for my freshman season of college soccer. Before that summer, I never knew that I could love running. I told myself, then, that I would do a distance race when I was done with soccer. Well, four years of college soccer went by, and I realized I had a promise to uphold. So I did it. I signed up for a half marathon.

The last couple of weeks have been harder. My times have been slower. My body is feeling the miles. I got to the point where I caught myself saying, "I am just ready to get this race over with."

Unfortunately, this mindset is all too common. We're on our way to doing something that will make ourselves proud, and we get discouraged when it loses the magic along the way. I'm here to tell you: don't discredit all of your hard work. You still are doing what you set out to do. It may not look like it did when you dreamed it up all those years ago, but you're still doing it. Don't you dare look at yourself in disappointment! You followed through. You stuck with it. You did it.

No, my mile times aren't as fast as they were when I was a collegiate athlete. No, I don't crush my runs every week, but I'm still making 18 years old me proud. I'm choosing to be proud of myself.

What are you proud of yourself for? Is there a goal you met, that you never really celebrated? I have good news. It's not too late to change your mindset! Here are the congratulations you deserved: You did it! Be excited. Be proud.