I started this post over a year ago. September 2014. I keep getting drawn back to it, though. Instead of deleting it, I need to finish it. It's an important reminder for any athlete, at any level.
Think about that statement.
That's the key.
The title could probably be applied to more aspects of life, but I'm not feeling that introspective nor intelligent, today. Let's just stick to what we know: running.
We were nearing the end of Summer, in Central Florida, when this epiphany occurred. If you have ever run through the Summer, in Central Florida, you will know that a lot of interesting situations can occur. Profanity, emphatic statements about quitting running, literal puddles of your own bodily fluids, shiny, red skin, etc.
Don't even get me started on Summer Trail Running
Typically, epiphanies are few and far between during these months. Which is why this was quite the phenomenon.
This morning was, initially, no different. I had run from my house, to meet the running group for a 5 am workout. There are all sort of runners, but I am not the type who springs from bed, laces up and bounds happily out the door for my pre-dawn run. Mostly I hate them. Every time.
(you know...until afterwards when I am blown away by just how worthwhile it was to get up early and run)
Again, this day was no exception. I hated the heat and suffocating humidity. I hated how sluggish my entire body felt and how frustrating my paces were as I slogged around the lake, repeatedly. My training, long runs and workouts had not encountered into a single snag, but it just didn't feel good.
On the final recovery jog, I peeked at my watch and stopped in my tracks, in disgust. Every single 800 meter repeat had been uncomfortably completed well off my goal pace. I hadn't hit a single target.
What a waste. This weather sucks. I suck. The upcoming race I was training for would suck. My whole body drooped as I angrily lumbered back to the cooler to grab a quick drink and slink back home.
I indulged in a head-dousing of icy cold water, as I glared off towards the road. The background noise of my friends' chatter and excited Garmin Stats-Comparing only fueled my annoyance. (at myself. not them. GO THEM!)
When I felt the hesitant should tap, I swung my drenched, frizzy head towards a newish member. She was equally red-faced, sweat-soaked but smiling. Beautifully.
"I just had to tell you how much you inspire me. I'm working my way up to running an entire mile, without walking and it's so hard. When I saw you, flying around the lake...your hair floating behind you...your legs turning over effortlessly, it made me so determined. Someday, I'm going to be able to do that."
I sputtered out some sort of idiotic reply and ran home, dazed.
Even on your worst, slowest, hottest, coldest, wettest, dirtiest, disappointing runs, someone is watching and comparing. YOU (yes you) are doing something that others only dream of.
Embrace that. Love that. Don't be a complete jerk about that.
You, my friend, are Someone's Someday.