What Matters Is How Many Times You Kept on Running

November 18, 2011

2:35 pm

I ran the other day and it was a hard run to get through.

It was hot, I still haven’t lost the extra pounds, and my lower legs were still sore from strength training two days before. I also wasn’t feeling too motivated. I’ve been in a funk recently and I woke up that day realizing that I’ve been waking up the past couple of mornings feeling defeated. So I ran.

I took it slow (9 mins/k) and just tried to get a rhythm going. Once my lower legs loosened up a little, I tried to go a little faster. Maybe it was the heat or something else, but I couldn’t keep on running. I had to do a run-walk. And there were many times that I walked rather than ran. And many more times I wanted to stop rather than go on.

As I struggled through this, I thought of what was bugging me. I tried to tear up the elements of the funk piece by piece as I went up and down streets. I realized that thinking that I had lost the battles of my current life, just made me spiral into a vicious cycle. It didn’t matter where that thought came from or what the logical arguments were to tell me that thought wasn’t true. Thoughts like that have their own logic which may not be logical. And no amount of self-analysis will get you out of the hole. So the only way out of the funk is to fight it.

I was mulling over this trying to find a way out but I got distracted. My legs were painful and I was struggling with the heat. So for about 45 mins all I could think about was putting one foot in front of the next no matter how uncomfortable that was.

I forced myself to finish the hour — even if resting seemed to be the more prudent training option — because there was something more that day than just getting a run in.

The character Rocky Balboa says in the final movie of the series that boxing is like life: it doesn’t matter how many times you’re knocked down. What matters is how many times you get up. I can tell you the same is true in running.

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