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The best lessons I’ve learned in life have happened while running and if there is one thing I can share with the others, it is “Dig Deep.”

It’s a phrase I say to myself whether on a daily run where I feel less than strong or in a road race when I feel as if my legs are like noodles and I am going to bring up cookies. Not the prettiest of all imageries, but “Dig Deep” has carried over into other areas of my life when I felt like the world was handing me way too much.

You don’t have to be a runner to know how to Dig Deep. If you are a runner, then you probably already understand what it means.

Cross country running is the best example. Cross country courses can be tough, really tough. And after miles into the race when you come upon a steep hill, you look at it and just know that no matter how rubbery your legs feel or winded you are, you’ve got to dig deep into it, to get up that hill.

It’s an inner drive to keep putting one foot in front of the other. If you have done a marathon or your first 5K run, you have felt your legs burning, hurting in those last few miles or home stretch to the finish line. Yet, you know you are almost there and you Dig Deep with whatever you’ve got left to see it through.

You don’t have to be a runner though to recognize and understand how Dig Deep shows up in your life. See, Dig Deep really has more to do with inner strength and confidence that you don’t know you own until you need it.

It doesn’t come from a friend or family member. It comes from within you, as if it were stored up in your belly area and is released in the nick of time.

In some of life’s most challenging moments, I’ve had to Dig Deep. I left loved ones to seek a more peace-filled life. I have traveled to unfamiliar cities, not knowing a single person to further my graduate education. I have realized that being alone is better being in relationships that are negative. I have left working for others to seek entrepreneurship.

All along the way, I’ve continued to Dig Deep and rely on an inner strength. At times it’s been a non-audible voice that says, you can do this and it will all be okay. Other times, it’s been a physical push to keep going, knowing that there is a finish line.

I don’t put too much weight in motivational quotes because they generally don’t motivate me. To make change, real change, in life requires more than that. It requires you to Dig Deep.

You have it. You own it. So, don’t give up. Don’t ever give up! Just Dig Deep and see the surprises life can give you.

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Maggie F. Keenan, Ed.D. has never been the kind of business owner or distance runner that is content being behind the leader. Instead, Maggie wakes up every morning driven by the desire to make a difference in the world, inspire others to do the same and to get her miles in.

Maggie lives and works in Savannah, Georgia. She holds a Doctorate from the University of Georgia and is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and Temple University. She’s a member of the Inaugural Class of the Robert Hull Leadership Fellow of Southeastern Council of Foundations, and a Savannah Leadership Fellow. She is also the Founder of Savannah Women Connect, a professional business women's network. An avid runner and successful entrepreneur, you can find Maggie running on the beach when she isn’t in her office.

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This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. knowing that there is a finish line might serve to ‘motivate’ you, otherly: in a sense, the ‘motivational’ quote may, perhaps, allow one to dig deep, more effectively, which is not to say that actions don’t speak louder than words, …..assuming that validation is not ultimately important………

  2. Great lesson and challenge, Maggie.
    As you so eloquently write, ‘Dig Deep’ fits all walks of live.
    I experienced it through my high altitude mountaineering, when the air is thin, sucking air as if there is no tomorrow, legs buckling and the summit still a distance away. After, there is the opportunity to sense having deeply internalize the expression, “The Journey is the Destination,” and to feel it with an exquisite new knowing!

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