Running sucks! I mean like really bad. Who in their right mind would ever want to push their body and mind to the limit with such a slow and boring method. First of all, you’re never comfortable while running; It’s too cold, hot, rainy, just don’t feel like it, WHATEVER. There are an infinite number of reasons why going on a run sucks. And yet I love it.
You don’t always get the most glamorous or comfortable thing in the world. What happened in the past will kick you in the butt today. Other times you didn’t even do anything and life will still kick you in the butt. Like in a race, sometimes nothing seems to go the right way; You’re legs are heavy, the air is thin, your head is lost, and your arms are stiff. My track Coach (Susan Perry) once told the team “In my life I’ve had very few ‘incredible races.’ Many people look at those races and say “wow she’s good.” But those are not the races that define you. You define yourself in the mediocre races and the bad races. You’re training kicks in and even though it’s unlikely you will [beat your personal record] you will have made something out of nothing.”
ICO has been a mediocre race. It has been grueling, it has been trialing. It had it’s ups: Walking blind-folded up a sand dune to a 360 view of Lagoa da Conceição, becoming close friends with the kids in the cohort, meeting my ICO dad, learning more Portuguese, my ICO host brother Matteus, beaches and so much more. And then there were the downs. Mistakes were made just like in a run or race there’s no making them up.
Running sucks. Some say that it’s inspiring to run from tier to tier and see new places and wonderful mountain top views. But for me, these moments are so fleeting, the distances you have to run to see anything different is crazy far. On top of that there is never a comfortable moment. The pain never goes away as long as you are running. The only thing that you can do while running is put one foot in front of the other.
Don’t focus on how far you have to go, because you will be intimidated and turn around. Don’t focus on how far you’ve gone, or you’ll underestimate your own strength to reach new heights. The only thing you can focus on is the now; “How do you feel NOW?” The grueling task of putting one foot in front of the other becomes a crazy kind of fun. The glorious views never lose their luster or sparkle. And most importantly you’ll run exactly as far as you need to run. This is why I love running.