Running 10,000 Miles: A Journey of Persistence, Health, and Resilience

In the last 21 months, I’ve run 10,000 miles—a feat that seemed impossible for a stroke survivor with multiple sclerosis. Learn how consistency, support, and adaptability helped me achieve this milestone. Take that first step and keep the momentum going—you'll be amazed at how far you can go.
Running 10,000 Miles: A Journey of Persistence, Health, and Resilience
Photo by afiq fatah / Unsplash

In the last 21 months, I have run 10,000 miles—a distance that initially seems almost unbelievable, especially for someone like me, a stroke survivor living with multiple sclerosis.

What started as a joke gradually became a reality, and along the way, I've learned important life lessons that I want to share with you. Whether you're a fellow survivor or someone looking to push your limits, I hope my journey can inspire and guide you.

The Beginning: No Grand Plans, Just Consistency

I didn’t set out to run 10,000 miles. My journey started with a simple routine: run every day. There was no grand goal or milestone in mind. Instead, I focused on showing up daily, putting one foot in front of the other. This approach taught me the power of consistency. Over time, these small, consistent efforts accumulated into the remarkable achievement of running 10,000 miles.

brown canoe on body of water near green grass field during daytime
Photo by Chalo Garcia / Unsplash

The Health Benefits: A Natural Motivator

One of the most significant motivators for me was the noticeable improvement in my health. Running helped me manage my multiple sclerosis symptoms and recover from my stroke. The endorphins released during exercise improved my mood, and the physical activity enhanced my overall well-being. These health benefits played a crucial role in keeping me on track, especially during the toughest days.

Mental Resilience: The True Battle

Running 10,000 miles involves facing both mental hurdles, such as motivation, and physical challenges, like endurance. There were countless days when I didn’t feel like running—when the weather was bad, or my body was tired. Overcoming these mental barriers was essential for my progress. I learned to set small, achievable goals and celebrate each victory, no matter how minor. This approach helped me stay motivated and keep pushing forward.

a bridge with a sunset in the background
Photo by Carter Cortelyou / Unsplash

Listening to My Body: The Importance of Rest and Recovery

Initially, I didn’t fully appreciate the importance of rest and recovery. However, as the miles added up, I realized that listening to my body was crucial. Taking rest days would have been more useful, but I didn't take a lot of those; in fact, very few, less than five! However, using recovery techniques and knowing when to slow down were crucial to preventing injuries and maintaining your running routine.

The Power of Community Support

Sharing my journey with friends, family, and fellow runners offered significant motivation and encouragement. Their support kept me accountable and made the process more enjoyable. Having a supportive community can make a world of difference in pursuing any challenging goal, not just running.

Adaptability: Adjusting to Circumstances

Life is full of surprises, and the ability to adapt is vital for staying focused and moving closer to your goal. There were days when I had to adjust my running routine due to health flare-ups, weather conditions, or personal commitments. Being flexible and willing to adapt helped me maintain my running schedule and continue progressing toward my goal.

grayscale photo of rock formation
Photo by Sean Benesh / Unsplash

Self-Discovery: Learning About Myself

Through this journey, I've gained valuable insights into my physical limits, personal strengths, and areas where I can improve, enhancing my self-awareness. I discovered my limits, strengths, and areas for improvement. This self-awareness has been invaluable, not just in running but in all aspects of life. It’s a reminder that we possess untapped potential beyond our usual perception.

Conclusion: The Journey is the Reward

Running 10,000 miles has been an incredible journey of persistence, health, and resilience. It taught me the importance of consistency, the power of community support, and the value of listening to my body. More importantly, it showed me that we can achieve extraordinary things, even when faced with significant challenges.

If you’re embarking on a similar journey or pushing your limits in any way, remember to stay consistent, celebrate small victories, and lean on your community for support. Most importantly, listen to your body and mind, and don’t be afraid to adapt as needed. The journey itself, with all its challenges and triumphs, is the ultimate reward.

Remember, while progress is made one step at a time, the first step is crucial in starting a transformative journey. You might think it sounds cliché, but when you achieve something like this, you'll truly understand its significance. Every remarkable journey begins with a single step, and once you find your stride, you'll be astounded by how far you can go. Keep the momentum going, and soon enough, you'll look back and see just how much you've achieved.

gray dock near body of water during daytime
Photo by Kevin Noble / Unsplash
About the author
Will Schmierer

Will Schmierer

👋 Hey I'm Will, Stroke Survivor since December 2019 at the age of 37! February 2020 I was diagnosed with MS🧡 If you have questions or need support, feel free to reach out

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