It was kind of surreal- fodder for my busy brain- running on the Stony Creek course this morning. For this winter training I have not been hitting the road until early afternoon as I want to make sure the slippery spots have thawed if at all possible (I need to eliminate as many opportunities to break my neck as possible). But because I had landscape appraisal work all afternoon, I was out at eight this morning to get in my nine.
There are some elite runners who train locally- they are a part of the Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, coached by the Hanson brothers, Kevin and Keith who have certainly made a name for themselves in the distance running world. I know these great guys from high school cross country- they both ran with me and my brothers so it is very cool to see them having such great success.
I had to smile to myself, crossing paths with those boys as they were calling splits for their runners, Desiree Davila Linden, one of them. We are actually both training for Boston and on race day will be at opposite ends of the some thirty-seven-thousand runners. She’s looking to win, and most likely has a really good chance, while I am looking to finish, with the majority of the humanity out there on that Monday in April.
Even though most of the time people, in general, get on my nerves (sorry but true) I still spend a lot of my time thinking about them. In my ongoing pursuit to figure out what truth is, I am forever contemplating what makes a person tick; I’m interested in the crosses they carry and why they make the choices they do, etc.
Now this morning there were two women out running the same course, and in forty-one days will find themselves at the same place, pursuing the same dream (well, sorta). To one was given a heap of a lot of talent and ability, to the other, well, she’s just your average middle-aged person. You could look at it with a little envy, “Sure must be nice. Being in the Olympics and now heading once again to Boston where the eyes of the world will be on you. You are at the height of your profession!”
But then, after that meeting there, surrounded by the encouragement from her coaches she continued on, as did I in the other direction. And we met up around the other side of the pond. I could see her coming. She was all alone and it made me think about her and the struggles and pressure she faces. She may have a lot of people paying attention to her, but when her rubber meets the pavement it is only her. No one can do it for her. Her cross is singularly designed for her, just as mine belongs only to me.
And no matter where we end up on the big day, we are each challenged to pick up the cross with our name on it and head for that finish line. It is only in how you embrace the trial that will define if you win or lose.
"Stepping outside the comfort zone is the price I pay to find out how good I can be. If I planned on backing off every time running got difficult I would hang up my shoes and take up knitting."
-Desiree Davila, member, U.S. Olympic marathon team
I love this quote!!!