Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I used to be a wimp. I really did. Not just a wimp in the sense that I couldn't handle a little pain or criticism or something like that. I was wimpy in that way, but I was a wimp in every way imaginable. Running has made me a stronger person, a better person.

You see, running is applicable to every part of life. "When the going gets tough, the tough get going." It sounds good but I think that's just a saying to most people. Runners get the full sense of what it means to "get going." So many times, when life gets tough, I want to quit. I want to do the easy thing. I want to come up with excuses, but then I remember. I am a runner.

Every time I run a race, no matter the distance, I come to a point where quitting is not only possible, it’s actually kind of reasonable. I even play in my head all the “reasons” or excuses I could tell people for why I didn’t finish or PR or whatever. …..

“Man, I got the worst cramp at mile 10 and that was it…”
“Dude, I don’t know…. My leg was aching a bit and I just couldn’t pull it out….”

When the alarm goes off at 4am I have excuses galore for why I should miss my run or bike or swim; a whole laundry list of “good” reasons not to do my work out. No one would know anyways. But on race day, when it matters most, everyone will know. You can’t hide behind excuses and you have no choice but to bare your soul to the running gods. You either did the work or you didn’t. I have done both and I can tell you one felt a whole lot better than the other.

So for me, I relate everything in life back to that experience.

Work is tough? No big deal. Stay the course, persevere, find a way to get through it and reap the reward at the end.

Marriage a bit rocky? Welcome to mile 22 of marathon day. Are you going to drop out or keep putting one foot in front of the other?

Your heart is broken and you feel like you can’t catch a break? Aaaaaah the joys of a good speed workout. Sucks right now, your heart feels like it could explode but if you just keep pushing, it will end and you won’t die in the process.

Feel like the task ahead is insurmountable? Sounds like a hill run to me. Slow down, breathe deep, trudge on…. You’ll get there!

I used to make excuses all day long. I would blame shift or try to explain my way out of stuff. And then I started running. Running keeps you honest. You either do the work or you don’t. I tell people running saved me and I really believe that it did. It saved me from a life of underachievement. It saved me from giving up on dreams and hopes and ambitions. Running took away my fear of the unknown and gave me the courage close my eyes and take the plunge. You’ll only under-train for a marathon once. And then the memory of that day will follow you… Every time you think of an excuse you’ll remember that pain and humiliation. You might think you are tough but a 5K will let you know just how tough you aren’t.

Someone once told me “Life isn’t about surviving one storm after another. Life is about learning to dance in the rain.” So, put your rain boots on, I hear the music playing…….

No comments:

Post a Comment