Everyone hits it. In my marathon training it was mile 18. In my acting career it was the month of August. The wall is legendary. Runners usually hit it around mile 20. It's the point where your physical body weakens, your spirit sags, and the will to go on falls from you with every drop of sweat. It's a moment of being completely overwhelmed—when you lose sight of hope, you begin to ask yourself, "Why am I even doing this?" and you want to give up.
August was a wall for me. Yeah, I'm going to be that honest. Hey, I signed up for this thing; I can sit here and write some feel-good nonsense, or I can share the truth with you. I opt for the truth.
The truth is: I'm broke, my survival job is no longer paying the bills, debt is growing greater, my acting mentor is in the hospital with severe head trauma and it's not known when he will recover, I seriously botched more than one audition, and I found out how some of my family really feels about my pursuit of this dream and it hurt.
I don't share those things with you for your pity. I choose to share them because I know that I am not the only actor who has felt these feelings at one time or another. Writing these columns each month is a bittersweet challenge. It asks me to take a truthful look at my life and have the courage to share it with you.
When I hit mile 18, I had a choice. I could have thrown in the towel and quit right then. I mean, come on: I ran 18 miles. No one would fault me for wanting to quit. How many other people have run 18 miles in one shot? Well, I didn't give up, and that's in part thanks to my iPod and Matchbox Twenty. I'm being honest again. It was right about that time that the song "How Far We've Come" came on, and I broke into tears, literally. In that moment I was reminded that just four months ago I could hardly run six miles, and here I was about to finish running 18, literally.
Sept. 1 marks the two-year anniversary of my migration from Virginia to California with my wife, Erica. When I take a moment and look at what all has happened in my life in the last 104 weeks, I am overwhelmed at "how far we've come." I'm not done yet. August taught me who my real fans are and how lucky I am to have a running partner in Erica.
So whether you are just starting on this run or you've already made it through your wall—as someone who is pushing through and beginning to see the relief on the other side—hang in there. You can do it. And if you feel like you have no one cheering you on and no one believing that you can make it, know that I do. I want to see you at the finish line.