Perseverance: Lessons from Running

I recently completed my 1st Boston Marathon, and after nearly 15 years of running, I’ve only recently seen in the last year (my first year outside of organized competitive running) what a place running has taken in my life. If I was to truly follow the subtitle of this post, it could take me years. The lessons I’ve learned from running, and sports in general are way too numerous to mention. However, my Boston marathon experience highlighted one thing that I think is worth mentioning.

Despite my years of experience, I fell trap to a few small nagging injuries that hindered my training for Boston. In addition, I messed up somehow with pre-race prep, because I completely ran out of fuel about halfway through this marathon. I dropped off my pace, felt dizzy, had cramps, etc.

Yet I feel like crossing the finish line, despite a horrendous time, was quite an achievement. Probably more so, than when I ran well. It was, in some ways, the epitome of a lesson that I’ve learned from running… that my mind is usually the only hindrance between where I am now, and where I want to be,… and perseverance is the answer to getting beyond those hurdles.

I love the feeling of moving beyond something that at some point seems impossible. I definitely hit that point on Monday… and with over 10 miles to go.

Moving past these hurdles gives me the feeling that I can do nearly anything, if I’m committed enough. Running, despite rain, heat, freezing cold, snow, ice, exhaustion, soreness, etc, has given me a sense of control. I feel like I am in charge of how much I achieve, and its just a matter of persevering through the low points, in order to get to my goal.

It seems almost strange to be writing this down, because on paper, it seems so logical and straightforward. It seems like I’m just rewriting the same thing I’ve been told over and over since I was small. But the fact is, hearing the advice had very little effect on me. It was my running has turned the advice into a conviction, and that, I believe, can only happen through 1st hand experience.

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