Sunday, December 16, 2007

I can't. Can I?

One of the things I love about running is watching other runners, newer ones especially, figure out what they're capable of; this played itself out yet again with two runners in our Club over the past few weeks.

Now don't get me wrong, running is tough, but the battle with one's own psyche, is at times, an unwinnable fight; most newer runners are not suitably armed to wage the war.  Newer runners are always telling me they can't run up hills, or they can't run any faster, or they can't run any farther - I tell them if that's the way they feel about it, then they're probably right.  But one day when the light comes on, and it will come on, they'll figure out that "can't" is just a state of mind.

I spent the first year of my wife's running career listening, often times through tears, to how hard running was and how she just couldn't run any farther.  Then, during a Christmas time 5-K event the light came on and in she came with a smile on her face; she hasn't looked back since.
And it was through Gloria's struggles that  I could see that my running had developed beyond just exercise, way past the sweating and the panting. My running had become a collection of experiences, a chance to see the sights that would not normally grab my attention, a chance to say hello to others around me that I would not normally acknowledge. Indeed, my running had become a chance to celebrate my ability to put one foot in front of the other, and that puts me at the head of the pack, no matter how far back I finish, no matter how slow I am.

So to Bev who knocked six minutes off her 5-K time and to Ray who finished his first road race and surfed the "runner's high" for days afterwards, I congratulate you both, not so much on your accomplishments, but for running far enough on your first wind to realize that you have a second.

That's two more who have won the war.

No comments: