July 11, 2011

Running In Life's Balance (pub. Ultra Running Mag. 9/2011)



A friend of mine once said it. No matter how focused you are on your training. No matter how committed you might be to accomplishing a goal. Sometimes life gets in the way. After 23 years of running, I’m still learning how not to fight this rule, but to embrace it.

This morning I hitched a tandem up to my mountain bike and my seven year old and I rode around our neighborhood. We stopped at a playground and I pushed her on a huge tire swing. She laughed and giggled as I spun her. Then we rode away until we arrived at a coffee shop where we stopped for a snack and I played music for her on my IPhone.

My difficulty is this. I have a hard time hitching tandems, or pushing tire swings, even hearing giggles when I’m hunkering down for a 100 mile race. Its not easy to explain, but it is easy to understand. Life is a plethora of priorities. But for each priority I choose today, I must also choose to put off another for tomorrow.

Over the last six months I’ve been hunkering down a lot, training and racing more than I ever have. But recently I’ve come to realize that sometimes running gets in the way. I have no regrets about my running, and its been a great year for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve also learned that running is a really just a metaphor for life. The ups and downs that it brings. I’ve faced some challenges in my races this year. Yet overcoming these has helped me build confidence and trust in myself along the way.

I recently wrote that it's the simple things, those that we take for granted, that matter the most. The moonlit path under a steely blue horizon during an ultra. Surely we all need to be carried away on our own moonlit path. But for the beginning of every path there is also an end. And we need to notice when we arrive at the end of these paths. And when we do, we just might find someone there for us, laughing and giggling.

Yes, it’s the simple things. They matter the most.

12 comments:

Julie said...

Love this! Well said.

Bill Booth said...

Please trust me on this one my friend. The giggles last a lifetime; the races will become a faded memory. Wish I had more giggles.

Will said...

thanks smokey. good to hear from you and I hope Tiger and the farm are treating you well!

Anonymous said...

thanks Will...good read. have to keep things in prespective!
laura weaver

Rachel said...

well said. glad you could enjoy some special time with your daughter!

Will said...

Yes, Laura, its all about perspective. Rachel, its all about that. Exactly.

Anonymous said...

What's up ? Are you sick or something? Get out there and log the mega miles that we little people can only dream of !!we need you.... you need us ! It's a sic and twisted cycle of parasites .Get well, get rested and get back on your horse

Will said...

As always, Bino, thanks for your unique and sage words. I haven't fallen off my horse, but I am taking her down a different path for a little while. Be well!

Stacey (aka UltraPrincess) said...

You are spot on!

Hone said...

Family comes first always.

MelB said...

can very much relate to this....balancing training and family (without being seen as a flipping fanatic) can be a very tenuous task. great post.

Cory Reese said...

Just found your blog. Great pictures and stories. I'm looking forward to reading more to come!