By Daniel Hicken— We’re less than a month out from Election Day. Can you believe it? It feels like it should be 2023…but it also doesn’t feel like it should be October 2020 already. 

We’ve been working hard in all the ways we can, moving the needle, making Utah County a better place for everyone. We’re phone-banking. We’re delivering signs. We’re texting, emailing, hanging door-hangers. Anything we can do to canvass in this incomparable year.

When I was in high school, I never thought of myself as the athletic kind. When I hit my 30s, though, I found a love for running. I started slow—low mileage, low intensities. That first year, I did a 5k. And I learned that at about three-quarters of a mile, my body would start screaming at me: I’m dying, you have to stop, we can’t go on! 

I also learned that although it was harder some times more than others, I could push through. My body was telling me fake news.

I persevered.

And that three-quarter-mile wail began showing up later, at a mile and a half. After that first year, when I ran my 5k, I kept at it, even through the snowy, soggy winter. By the next summer I ran a 5k and a 10k. I began training toward a half-marathon, and I hit that level on a training run that August.

Why am I trotting out a sports analogy? Because Democratic politics in Utah County is not a sprint. We’re not Usain Bolt. We’re running a 5k, 10k, and even a half- or full-marathon. And we can do this. We can finish strong; we can continue this great trajectory that each of you have helped to create.

For some races, that will be a winning vote tally. For others, it’s making a mark and getting your name out there. If I’ve learned anything from elections, it’s that your second race is often the one you win—look at Shireen Ghorbani. In her case, it was the third race she ran that got her into public office. If she hadn’t run the first and second races, she wouldn’t have been able to gather and channel the support that helped her win in the end.

I’m sure you’ve got moments where you don’t feel like you have much gas left in the tank. I think everyone who’s reading this has probably felt the same. It’s hard to keep pushing, especially as we near the end of these races.

Do a little self-care to recharge every day. Take a 15-minute walk; breathe and change perspective for a while. Find a quiet spot and meditate. Eat a piece of delicious dark chocolate. When you have your battery recharged, you can better find the milestones to help you continue onward. And checking those boxes can do wonders for your mood.

Sometimes it’s finishing a phone-bank. Sometimes it’s delivering all the signs you can before your next check-in with the campaign you’re helping. Sometimes it’s successfully helping a neighbor or friend to register to vote before the cutoff on October 23rd.

We set and hit those milestones, and then find another. And each time you hit a milestone, no matter how small it may feel, you will find strength to go for the next one. Keep the goal in sight, getting people elected who share our views and who want to make Utah and Utah County the best places they can be. Pick the little goals that will help us cross that finish line, and cross it strong.

You can do this. And because you can do this, so can the rest of us. We’ve got this, and we’re going to win. We’re going to make our county a little bit better, one election at a time.