It’s never easy to get out there, day after day, mile upon mile, hour upon hour.
It’s not easy to say, “No,” to your friend, “I’m waking up at 5am tomorrow to run.” Or to realize your priorities are different than they used to be. Or to have someone demand you pick between them and running. Why are there only 24 hours in a day? Why haven’t we figured out how to be two places at once?
It’s not easy to get out in the dark, the heat, the rain, or the wind, especially when you know you could be snuggled up in bed or on the couch next to the AC eating ice cream. It’s also not easy to wake up late then have to scramble to make up for it, maybe a little faster, maybe a little shorter.
It’s not easy to get that run in, shower, and go right to work for 8, 9, 10 hours, where, after getting lost in vast, peaceful, and pristine nature, you shift to a chilly 50 sq ft cube.
It’s not easy when you have to do PT, massage, yoga, cryo, or pull out that foam roller, stick roller, or lacrosse ball to work your body out so you can do that other thing that isn’t easy.
It isn’t easy when no one, outside of your core group, understands what you’re doing. They might call it a black mark on your personality. So you’re left to navigate much of your daily life as an outsider with stories about the rocks on a trail or the dog you saw on the sidewalk or finally climbing that hill without stopping that no one will be quite as excited by.
And it’s especially not easy to actually run up that mountain or run farther than most people want to drive or run around the block 3 times or do sprints on a track. It isn’t easy to come up with new goals and have to put in more work to reach them. It definitely isn’t easy to fully accept there is no bad run and it’s all part of the process. Even if you can do all that and you can do it without breathing hard or breaking a sweat, it’s not easy.
We are not guaranteed support. No one else needs to offer that and no one might. In fact, there’s a good chance what you get is the opposite of the support you want.
So we have to be our own cheerleader in this running thing. We have to remind ourselves, “You are a goddamn boss for this.” Sometimes, we even have to do it with half a mile left on our run when we stop in the shade and have to convince ourselves to finish it up. We have to offer ourselves an excess of positive self-talk and pat ourselves on the back: for accomplishments, for doing more than we thought we could, for dealing with the suck and getting through it, for taking a step out that door.
Following our heart, pursuing our passion, challenging ourselves, and putting in the effort IS NOT EASY. But we do it. Because we love it and that’s who we are. Goddamn bosses. And we’re amazing for it. Don’t let yourself forget that.