There is a desire in all of us to reach high. Look towards a difficult road and decide it’s worth it to travel to the end. Success: we all feel and define it differently. Do you want to know where I feel it? Well, let me tell you.
Imagine you are in a sea of grass and trees, smelling the air and feeling the breeze. You are moving slowly, but you don’t mind. You’re climbing higher and higher till the air gets thin. You exist in a world of movement and beauty. You know pain has set in your legs and tiredness has robbed most of your energy but it doesn’t matter. You don’t stop, in fact, you don’t want to. There is so much more ahead to see and experience, and that alone drives you forward. You are now flying, you spread your arms as you descend down, down, down. I don’t have to move so fast but it feels amazing. The woods are the place where I go to breathe. It is home.
That is my arena, the place where I discipline myself and find my strength. On those special days when I am not taking it easy or training, I am racing. I don’t need a stopwatch to tell me if I did my best. I am not after records or top finishes in races. The battle is truly a one on one with myself. Success to me is in the way I race and is not defined simply on my result. When I look back on a race and see I have given it everything I had, then it is a great day. There are many distances out there and they all require the same things to succeed and just training for them can help build these character traits.
Patience: In running and life it takes a lot, and nothing is more rewarding than staying strong and outlasting the clock.
Care: Two things with this. One, if something you do hurts you when you don’t do well, you care a lot about it. Having this much care can and will drive you to success in your life. Two, no matter what your doing, don’t forget to take care of yourself. It is said that your level of success is a direct reflection on your level of self-improvement.
Curiosity: Life is full of what ifs. Like “what if I can” or “What if I never fulfill my potential?” Seeing what is out there is a matter of being curious on how far you can go.
Common sense: If you have well developed instincts, it is easy to tell when something is not right. It is there where you either use your common sense and get the best out of the situation or you possibly make a mistake you regret for who knows how long.
Vision: Seeing success daily is one of the best ways to stay motivated. But what about visualizing trials? Are they included in your victory image? Before you think about the answer to this, which of these stories is more inspirational to you? One where someone wins a race effortlessly while setting a new record? Or one where someone struggles though everything imaginable and loses a race he trained to win for so long but he never gives up? Clearly the second option. I will be honest: my victory image includes a lot of pain. Does yours? At least you never think about dropping in a race because you just didn’t have the day you expected.
In the end, I guess the reason I am so drawn to running Ultramarathons though the mountains is because in its own way it helps me bring out the best version of myself. And I hope, at least every time I toe the line in an Ultra, I get a chance to prove to myself how much I have changed.
As my journey continues, I hope to share it with everyone I can. Because as much as running can help you grow it is also one of the best ways to form a lasting friendship. After all, those who run together, stay together.
Thank you for reading.
If you have a moment, please comment and let me know why you like to run.