On Monday I'm hosting a bunch of friends for my birthday, which lucky for me falls on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday this year. Everyone's arriving at 10 a.m. and we're going out for a 4-kilometer run around my neighborhood before we down some bagels and cake.
Today, with an easy run on the schedule, I mapped out the route.
After a trip through my neighborhood, the run takes in this park
I'm not good at writing inspiration, and while I do like reading the wise thoughts of others, I prefer to do it at certain times when it's really needed (like, say, the night before a race). And I don't think I'm particularly wise when it comes to running. But since this is my second-to-last post, I also wanted to share with you guys a few things I've learned through this sport. Apologies if some of them are platitudinous. I'm writing this for myself as well, because these are things I need reminding of.
1. The major thing that running and life have in common is that they rarely offer straight paths to any destination. Outside circumstances will interfere in some things. In others, you will change, and so (often, though not always) will your goals. You'll know the difference between when you're giving up on something and when you're simply moving on from it, in both running and life.
2. You can draw motivation from negative forces. It's no fun to live knowing you quit something you shouldn't have. But it's also a powerful thing to use that as fuel for another challenge, one you'll see through. Along the same lines: be aware of your faults (one of mine is laziness), and use that awareness to push you in the opposite direction from where those faults would take you if you let them control you.
3. You won't accomplish everything you want. Sorry to say it, but it's true. I am not a believer in "If you dream it, you can do it." At some point, all of us will bump up on the ceiling set by our innate abilities and other factors outside our control. But I don't think we should allow that to make us sad or sullen (at least not for very long). You can accomplish a lot more than you think if you put in the work. Be patient.
4. Your running will give you moments that are sublime. You don't have to be fast to have these moments. These moments have nothing to do with talent. They have to do with you recognizing and satisfying your in-born human need to move. So don't be jealous of others. You're getting the best part of running simply by doing it.
Thanks again to all of you for reading this! Remember that if you want to receive the race reports that I plan to write as I continue my quest for a Boston qualifying time, please email me at terzahbecker [at] gmail.com.