Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Staying Power of Endurance

I think I'm ready.

I'm running a 78-mile relay race this Saturday with 7 other team mates. 

The weather is forecast to be 63 and sunny, which should be optimal for running.

My portion is 12.8 miles in 3 different legs.

On the last of my training miles this morning, I started thinking about the basics.  One foot in front of the other.  Efficiency of through the nose and mouth, out through the mouth.  The rhythm of my cadence.  Hamstrings tight. Quads heavy. Sweat dripping.  Hydration. Fuel. Doable.  All very doable.

And for me, this is my life.

Never perfect.  Always slightly off in one area or another...

Similar to when I'm running and it starts to hurt, I have to remind myself that this too shall pass.  And, with time, it does.

The problem is that I don't like to wait.  I want guarantees.  I want to know that the "wants" I have now will materialize into something meaningful, otherwise, what was the point of "wanting" for so long. 

And then, I have to remind myself that the point of waiting, the point of sacrificing, the point of enduring is that typically, all good things come in those who are willing to fight the good fight, relishing the moments in between that make it worth it in the end.

So, while putting in the last of the miles and feeling the burn, I thought about this quote by Charles's a long one, but stick with it, it's worth it.

“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery--isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. And, you'll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.”

And sure enough, it was worth it...sun coming up, the promise of coffee in hand, training miles in the books.  The blessing of a new day.

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