I have a friend who likes to run, and she made an interesting statement to me today. She said, “People who don’t run, don’t understand people like us.”
I don’t mind being part of some secret club, but I like to think anyone can be a runner. So, I asked her to elaborate.
She said that people always questioned why she stopped running competitively after her back injury. Why wouldn’t she still sign up for those 5k/10k races?
“I could never beat my best times. I couldn’t even come close after the injury. So every race was a reminder of how slow I’d gotten.”
It’s an interesting thing about running: competing only with yourself. Sure, you can compete with other people. But the most rewarding feeling is being able to push past a boundary you thought was unbreakable.
I guess maybe we might be wired differently from other folks?
Anyway, last night I broke through a major barrier. I ran my last mile in 6:35–shattering my limit of 7:00/mile!
It was such an amazing feeling, and the adrenaline was pumping through my veins the whole evening. Despite the strong desire to throw up immediately after the run, I was on cloud 9.
Mostly it’s because that barrier was as much mental as it was physical.
That’s another aspect of running that’s complex. Sometimes you are what’s holding you back.
Trust me, the last quarter mile I thought I was going to die. Well…puke and then die!
But I gutted it out till the end through sheer force of will. And the endorphins in my brain went crazy when I saw that I’d achieved my goal.
There’s an interesting verse in one of the Apostle Paul’s letters that talks about making your body subject to your will.
“So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.”
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 NLT
He’s using a metaphor here, of course. Paul is really saying that we can’t be ruled by our physical needs.
Because if we listen to all the desires of our bodies, we’d only eat sugary foods, we’d never get off the couch, and we’d be very likely to cheat on our spouses!
Anyway, his words come back to me anytime my body is protesting against some very reasonable expectation. My body will bend to my will, not the other way around!
Next time you’re having trouble kicking a bad habit, or if you find yourself filled with destructive thoughts, remember Paul’s words. We cannot let ourselves be overcome by our base desires–we must rise above.
Thanks for reading and celebrating this milestone with me!