With some not-so-happy stuff happening to some people around me, I feel really grateful that I have my training as an outlet lately. The world would be a better place if everyone was a runner. Not in a homogeneous we-all-need-to-like-the-same-things way, but if every human had an outlet, if every person could see the connection between hard work and progress, if all people had a that place to go that created calm happiness that was productive and not harmful, well, we’d all be better off.
Lots of runners claim that they do their best thinking while out on the road, and I’d agree, generally speaking. But, I’d also say that I don’t really do any thinking at all while I’m out there. My developments in thought (post-run) stem from my ability to silence everything (during run) and rebuild with the perspective each issue rightly deserves. Running can turn a mountain into a mole hill literally and figuratively; you may find your issue is a smaller one than initially anticipated, or that you are better equipped to climb the mountain than you thought. Same goes for a sweat session on the bike or in the pool.
Because I’m focused and driven I often feel like others think things are easy for me. Like I naturally wake up at 5am. Like it’s no problem to turn down happy hour or time with friends. Like an “easy 6″ is actually easy. It’s not easy, not any of it. But if I work hard until some progress is made I know how much better it will make everything else. It’s a conscious choice to wake up and do this everyday. Some days it’s not hard, and some days it’s very hard, but it isn’t ever easy. Greg Lemond’s quote,”It doesn’t get easier, you just go faster,” rings true; it doesn’t get easier, for lots of reasons, but we adapt to hills in sport and in life and before we know it we are better, faster, stronger. And it doesn’t get easier because we always want more and set our sights on the next.
So, to my friends, find your “running” place. Calm your mind. Make yourself happy. And soon this will get easier, as you’ll be on to the next stage and a happier challenge.