Friday, January 22, 2010

It's You vs. You

Not to point out the obvious here, but Life is what you make it.

You can make it very difficult on yourself or you can take the perspective that everything is a challenge that can be overcome.

That doesn't always mean you'll be successful on the first try, but I would almost guarantee that you'll not just be more resourceful but you'll probably have learned a few things.

I went running yesterday. As I was running, I was thinking back over my rather lengthy running career. I remembered in detail my first half marathon where I truly didn't fuel properly and finished--but finished in alot of pain and wanting to quit while my legs cramped up into tiny little balls. I remembered a PR that I got in the 7k where it was SO cold and the last .75 miles is uphill. I thought my lungs would either burst from cold or exertion or some horrible combination of both. I remembered a 10 mile run in subzero temps; I had icicles on my lashes; the wind was brutal, and I think my butt fell off somewhere around mile 7.

As I was running yesterday, a guy ran by me with a t-shirt that read "It's You vs You".

I thought back to all those races. In not one of them was I running against anyone else. I was running against my own voices, demons, pains.

When I wanted to stop, I didn't because I wanted something else more...

Sometimes just finishing is a huge accomplishment. Sometimes it's an incredible PR. REgardless of the situation, there is no one that can do it for you. You can't swap out tired legs or burning lungs for a new pair. You can have an entire team of people cheering for you, but you have to put one foot in front of the next and make the conscious decision to keep moving forward, silencing the "I'm too tired, too cold" voices and replacing them with "hold it, hold it, you've got this."

As an experienced runner, I watch new runners going down the street. I secretly root for them, wanting them to feel the success and knowing that sometime they are going to face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle. I wonder what they will do. Will they take it on? Will they quit?

Crowds will be cheering.

Everyone will be watching.

They'll be doing something they never thought possible, and they'll be so tired. They'll start hunching over, running, running, walking, running, walking, walking....

All of a sudden the hundreds of people are quiet. And they realize:

It's You vs. You.

What are you going to choose?