It is painful, exhausting and stressful. However, this activity can help build character on and off the track.
Photo by Melissa Whaley
I knew it was the worst race of my entire life when I was only a mile in.
Cresting over the 90 degree mark at about eight o’clock, temperatures only continued to rise.
The sun scorched down upon all of the runners as we continued trotting away the next three miles of the race.
When I rounded the last half mile, I crested the point where I gave serious thought to quitting. I could just step off the course, catch my breath and walk back to the tent.
I do not think anyone would have blamed or guilted me for that decision.
However, I kept running.
Holding back vomit and suffering through muscle cramps, I simply continued to run.
This type of decision is a primary archetype in my life. That being the abandonment of temporary comfort for what would seem to anyone else as mindless self-torture.
It actually is, in essence, self-inflicted torture and that is why it is so important for me to continue.
Few people want to complete the task in the most difficult way or wait a longer period of time to see results.
In this fast-changing world, lethargy and immediate satisfaction seem to be all too present.
Running is the complete opposite of this world.
In running, you cannot get faster overnight. You have to be diligent about putting in the miles. You have to be willing to make yourself uncomfortable.
I love to hear, “You’re crazy!” or the, “Why do you even run if it is that bad?”
The answer is that success requires more than what most people are willing to give.
While I may not be successful on this particular race day, I have shown myself yet again that I can keep going through adversity, all the way to the finish line.
This mentality then stays with me past the race into the rest of my day. As I go to work or complete homework, I continue to strive through adversity.
The best part about running is that it doesn’t matter how successful you are on race day, because you are training for life.
I torture myself every day not because I just want to race faster, but because I want to achieve higher.
That is why I run.