We all make journeys.
While running a race, or training for one, many runners feel different types of emotions. I have met friends on long runs who just erase their minds and think about fun things or people in their lives. This is what takes them from mile marker to mile marker. These are all personal journeys for athletes. The last three plus months I have been going day to day on my own Journey. I know I will have pain some days which is to be expected. I know there will be days just like before where life takes over and the workout becomes second to life.
I set goals for my workouts and time myself to make these goals. I run alongside my Soldiers and know they are working as hard (probably harder) than me all the time. They motivate me to stay in the fight and bounce over those mental walls we all have building as we try to accomplish our goal.
Running has been my escape for the last 6 years. I run to just get away from the everyday grind. I guess if an outsider was looking in they would say I was escaping from reality. In a way I am. I also am able to accomplish more running than I do when I do not. That may be my way of dealing with things or erasing the challenge of the run by just running and not making it a task. I have had my best runs when not thinking about running. When I play sports my best results come when I just am out there having fun. When someone asks me why do I run? I tell them I run because it is fun. During my journey, I have run in Korea, Thailand, Iraq, Afghanistan, and China and of course the good ole USA. In each place the paths were different but the goal is always the same finish like you started smiling and upright.
The best part of the journey is when you are running especially in a race, you get to meet many people who in any other area, you might never speak to. The course drops the social barriers and allows novices to speak with elite runners and beginners to jump right into the mix. Most people smile and give you the greeting of the day. When I was in Korea I would run along the Han River in Seoul with my wife. While running I would always say hello to anyone running/walking or riding by. Most times they would smile and be in shock that I was speaking their language and would respond in English back to me. I know it may sound weird but those are little victories along the journey.
I saw during the Olympics when everyone in the world was transfixed on Usain Bolt and his team mate Johan Blake, a young lady from Afghanistan running in one f the events representing her country. Her journey started as women in a country where she is not supposed to have rights thanks to certain groups. It ended with her having the support of her country while representing them on the World Stage. She easily could have quit and stayed oppressed, that was not her journey. Her journey was to run as fast as she could and have fun against the world and against all odds. Or how about Bolt and Blake, they both come from a small island country and have conquered the world on the track. Those are both great journeys.
I am currently in the middle of one of many journeys. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel right now. We started here five plus months ago and have made great gains. This lets us know our time on this journey is about to end. Once we tag out of here we will start a journey home. My other journey has gone from crutches to the elliptical, from there to the treadmill and finally able to run a 5K trail race yesterday with my guys. That is a victory for me. And the mid way of yet another Journey.
The only way I know that my next Journey will be complete is when I cross the finish line in Lexington for my Half-Marathon return. I have planned for this one but may run one sooner if the chance arises.
What kind of Journey do you think of while running? How bout what kind of Journey makes you want to get out there and run for a long time or distance?
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