I slipped my shoes on and headed out the door without a thought in my mind. Such is the way I like to begin my runs.
Clean slate. Level headed.
Today’s therapy session was in the afternoon. A crisp yet balmy 65 degrees. My car parked, I wasted no time getting down to business.
No pressure today. Just 10-12 easy miles at whatever pace felt right.
Less than 24 hours ago, I had taken a soccer ball to the face during one of our co-ed games. Now as I ran, I could feel the air stinging my still-swollen upper lip. Failing to find my chapstick earlier, I soon realized that licking my wounds only seemed to make it worse. I ignored it and continued on.
I felt the gravel and dirt crunching beneath my feet while the wind gently ushered me along….
Leaning slightly left, I careened onto a trail temporarily devoid of cyclists and couples walking their dogs. And while the trees whispered around me- suddenly, it started to rain…yellow and green at first and then brown, red…shades of gold…
I could feel my heart beginning to catch up to the pace of each step…pounding in my chest, reminding me that I was alive.
Day after day, I slip on my running shoes, heading out there no matter what the weather forecast or time of day.
Running, sprinting, cross training, weight lifting…staying strong…training for that imaginary race day that never comes.
Why bother at all?
I’ve beaten myself up a million times with ‘What if’s…’ and ‘I wonder’s..’ Contemplating thoughts of whether I’ve let everyone down by not being the success story in college that I was supposed to naturally assume.
Momentarily reflecting on all of the wonderful and inspiring success stories that former teammates have made of their post-collegiate running careers, I have no doubts that I could still take things further than where they currently are.
But I don’t.
I run for myself now.
It’s taken me years to get to this point. Years to un-learn running as a business; as something dedicated to others.
I don’t want to be anyone’s hero. I am my own hero; my own inspiration. The only difference now is that I don’t need a medal or a prize to tell me that.
How do you define success in your life?
The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places. -Anon.