I’m a wanna-be marathon runner as well as a wanna-be published novelist. I run almost every day a mile or so. Not enough to give even a mini-marathon a chance…yet. I’ve been going faster and further for about five years. Sounds ridiculous to some of you but progress is progress. I’ve found that I can plateau and feel good at where I’m at but when I remember what my goal is, then I’m ready to push myself again; deal with the discomfort of going beyond, when I’m willing again to pay a price that feels like loss at the outset.
The work, the trouble, the aches and pains come before the joy, the bliss, the deep satisfaction of overcoming my own weakness. I was running with a bunch of runners, on a video (ha! ha!), pretending to be the runner who was videoing a race. I found my self rooting for my guy, urging him to pass person after person. It was a seven plus mile run so I had to drop off, live a day of work and pick up next morning. The second day, my runner passed everyone.
How great to be the lead runner, the one who left everyone else behind, the one who had to figure where the trail actually was through pastures, over hillocks, through gates and muddy paths. It occurred to me that being out front has its glory but eventually it feels a little lonely. Running with the group felt like we were all doing something. Making a stand for resilience and strength of the human body. Running out front, it was just the open space ahead. I’m generally not happiest in a crowd but maybe small crowds focused on the same goal are okay. Just when I was missing the sensation of being part of a united people, in the true fashion of real life, suddenly there was a person in front me, then another. They must have been just a few steps behind but out of view. (I run to my own music track). Isn’t that the way it often is? We think we’re alone in our successes, alone in the ground we have to cover, figure out, alone if we fall or fail. But then, just like that, the very reality we’re struggling in shifts and it comes to light that we were never alone.
When I get back to running with this video I’ll learn if the videographer wins or not but I’m a fan anyway. Why? Because I’m feeling like I can run this race and if not, I can cheer on those who pass me and love every mile of it.