Running is Hard. Life is Hard. It’s all Good!

I like to run.  A lot.  I like running very much (so I like running a lot).  I also like to run a lot of miles (so I like running a lot).   (I like when a sentence such as “I like running a lot” can be interpreted two different ways.)

When I run, which is most often on a treadmill at irrational hours of the early morning, I usually listen to music on my iPod.  I often get inspired by inspiring songs.  (I wonder how many other obvious statements I can write in this passage.)

I find every run, no matter what the distance, to be hard.  Every single run presents a challenge.

People who know that I like to run marathons are often surprised when I say that.  People say, “You run marathons so three miles are probably easy.”  They are wrong.  Three miles isn’t easy.  It’s hard.

Every run is hard.

When I run three miles fast, it’s hard.  When I run three miles slowly, it’s hard.  When I run three miles just right, it’s hard.  When I run with Goldilocks, or the Three Bears, it’s hard.

Every distance is hard.

When my children first started running, I told them a simple, but true fact – there is a point in almost every run when you feel like quitting.  Sometimes it happens more often.  Sometimes it happens less frequently.  But, for me at least, there is a time in every run when I want to quit.

It would just be easier to quit.

Hard work is hard.  (Another obvious statement, I’m getting good at these.)

So, going back to an earlier point, inspirational or motivational music helps me get through a run – whether it be a one mile run or a twenty miler.

I thought of this passage as I was struggling on the treadmill.   This song came through my headphones.  I heard the following lyrics:

“Right here, right now, there is no other place that I’d rather to be.”

Now, let’s be honest… at that moment, sweating and feeling like a hamster on one of those wheel things, there was an unlimited list of places I would have rather been… but the music spoke to me – as it often does.

And it made me think.

Although I may rather have been in Disney World, or at Yankee Stadium, or atop Mt. Baldy, or at the school I love, or in Bermuda, or eating pizza, or….

The truth was, as I struggled, as I worked hard, as I pushed my body…there really was no other place that would have rather been.

It was all about Right There, Right Then.

And that’s what got me thinking…

***

There is another song, it’s also on my iPod, but I just can’t remember the name of the song, and my Internet searches proved to be fruitless, but the words to the lyrics are,

“It’s not about the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away.”

The moments that take your breath away.

I don’t mean running.  That takes my breath away, but in a different way.  This isn’t about not breathing.  It can mean running when the act of running is so much a part of you that you are, in some metaphysical way, The Run itself.  But, that’s not what I’m driving at.

What it means is striving to make every moment a moment that is memorable.  It begs us to ask the question, “What can I do about RIGHT NOW to make this moment the very best moment it can be?”

What can I do?

Right here.  Right now.

***

You see, in the end, it isn’t about the hands we are dealt; it’s what we do with those hands.

These inspirational songs don’t state, “Yesterday was great and now, going forward, it’s all downhill…”

When we look at every day as a clean slate, with the chance to fill that slate with good, we hold the power to make our lives and the lives of others around us better.  Or memorable.  Or great.

Right then.

And always.

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