Watching the New York marathon last weekend I was struck by an assertion made by one of the commentators. He stated that it doesn’t matter that the elite runners where doing it faster, whenever you run 26.2 miles it HURTS! Everybody gets to a point where their body begs them to: “just stop!” In order to run a marathon, you need to push on when every ounce of your body, mind and spirit is telling you stop…just stop! For the love of everything holy, just STOP. RIGHT. NOW.
Now, I’m not a marathoner. I have no desire to punish my body that hard for that long. The truth is I don’t think I will ever be mentally strong enough to push myself past the pain, screams and tears. I do believe I can do a half marathon, and am training for one in April, and on yesterday’s run I had what I thought of as a marathon moment.
I don’t know if it was the humidity, being tired from working yesterday, dehydration, or what, but half way through my run I actually cried. Real tears, legs screaming, lungs screaming, somebody calling me a jackass (oh, wait, that was me) I’ve never cried during a run or a race, and it wasn’t like this was a crazy amount of mileage. I just had a moment. It didn’t make sense, but I went back to what that announcer said: even the elite runners have those moments; the key is to push through them. A small voice piped up –above the one calling me an effing idiot- and said, “you just have to not give up.” Ah, so simple, so hard, so true.
This voice has been getting louder and louder lately and I attribute it mostly to my yoga practice. That negative voice would rear its ugly head while on my mat, berating me for all the poses I could not do, and then this tiny voice would answer, “all you have to do is not give up.”
I may not be able to get into crow, or an arm balance. My mileage may be meager but all I have to is not give up.