"That dog'll know he's been in a fight when he tangles with this piece of machinery" - Sylvester the Cat
Hi guys - You know, that quote is pretty funny, but should reflect the "fight" we all have when training, so that when our race comes, we'll be sure we give it our all, at least all of what we want to give. As Steve Prefontaine said, "To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift". We are all training for different reasons, but they are important to each of us, and once we develop the gift that has been given to us, we need to use it to our fullest extent. That doesn't mean we need to race all out, or train till we drop ALL THE TIME, but #1) we need to keep our goals in full focus in front of us, and #2) we need to enjoy our abilities. I am so tired of reading stories about runners who "ran" marathons and can't wait to tell the world about the trip through hell that they survived. Sure, I don't know these folks, but give me a break - you chose to do this, you (hopefully) knew what was coming. You'll be telling the story of your accomplishment for years. OK AL, off your soapbox, back to your abilities...so, where was I? Oh yeah...if your race doesn't go exactly how you planned, or what you had hoped, hey!...did you do your best on that particular day? If so, there you go! That's all we have to ask ourselves. You don't have to answer to anybody, but you.
I just love to run. Sometimes it's an easy jog, and sometimes I'm trying to do it like I did in High School (well, that wasn't particularly good either!). But, if I lace up my shoes to race, I'm going to do the darndest to reach whatever realistic goal I have set. Now, granted, that goal may take drastic detours during the race, but there's always SOME goal out there ("Surely I can beat that woman pushing the stroller in the Easter Bunny costume smoking the cigar"). I say all this because I hate when runners and walkers get so down on themselves that they don't realize what special folks they are.
We all run for our own reasons. Maybe we run to escape or perhaps we run to evolve or perhaps we run to experience. We run to live and we live to run. Sounds crazy to tell some non-runner that, but every runner understands.
Most us run because we want to and some among us run because we think we have to. We run to open ourselves up and we run to close ourselves down. It's an intensely personal thing and nobody should tell us how to do it, why we should do it, or what it means to us to do it. We know why, how, and for what we run, and that's all that matters. Running takes us places nobody else knows and makes us into the people we are meant to be. That's the way it has always been and the way it always will be. The rest will take care of itself.
Enjoy what you're doing because it's what you want to do and be kind to yourselves. Every run doesn't have to be a fight, but when it is, keep that fight like Sylvester, but make it your fight.
As I write this, I'm up in the frozen north of Boston, visiting my son, daughter-in-law and TWO grandchildren. I'm not crazy about this getting old stuff, but grandchildren certainly put a brighter light on this whole age thing. I hope you all have a great holiday season, and next week, I'll see you all on the roads - AL
"One child lost is too many...one child saved can change the world"
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