My early morning run this morning got me thinking...
It was pitch black, with 40mph winds, pelting rain, and an occasional tree branch crashing somewhere around me way to close to my brain. I could have easily slept in, or just as well have gone to safety of the treadmill at my friendly neighborhood gym, but sometimes in endurance sports, and in life, we need to put ourselves through a little hell!
The nice thing about endurance sports is that we can usually choose what hell we put ourselves through. Sure, occasionally we get caught in a race where the conditions are not exactly adequate but we always have the option of stopping and getting picked up by an aid station volunteer! Unfortunately, life usually does not work the same way. As much as I would like to raise my hand and say, "hey, you know this struggle that I am dealing with right now, yeah, I have had enough of it so I choose to DNF!" I wish it were that easy!
Maybe by participating in endurance sports we don't just train our cardiovascular system but our system of coping with the challenges that life throws at us? Does doing an Ironman suddenly make you an emotional rock, or can it actually heal a void of the heart? Although I know the answers vary from individual to individual I am in constant amazement of what I have seen endurance sports do for the people around me, most recently a friend of mine who did his race in honor of his brother. Although he had some interesting setbacks throughout the day, including a seat that was 4 inches to low for most of the 112 mile bike ride which caused his legs to cramp for the entire marathon, he finished strong with a smile on his face! If that does not answer the question of endurance sports and human spirit, what does?
So going back to my run this morning, if you happened to hear in the distance a crazy women calling out to the pelting rain, "you call this a storm?"; that was me! I just hope that I can call on this strength when it matters most!