by Sidney Shock
Though running isn’t as unanimously disliked as Hitler, it has got to be in the top ten. Many individuals dislike certain activities, people, and weather– and a large majority of people disdain running. They all say that runners are crazy, and who’s to say they’re not? I mean I don’t have amazing hand eye coordination and I wouldn’t be surprised if those traits were also made manifest in my parents and other parents of Cross Country runners, causing them to drop us on the head when we were babies. Despite, and possibly due to the devastating bump on the head, we have found something that we love that pushes us to become bigger and greater than we ever were before. To feel our own resilience and strength. To feel alive! This is why I love running.
Don’t get me wrong it’s never easy. If it’s physically easy it’s emotionally heart breaking. The hardest aspect of running is when you don’t push your hardest! Not pushing yourself past your capacity. Not feeling that pride when you cross the finish line. Being outkicked in the last 200 meters. Failure can be so difficult to accept when you spend hours of effort twice a day, every day, for years. We set bars for ourselves that can be difficult to achieve, whether it’s grades, extra curriculars, relationships, religion, or family. It can be hard to accept when you’ve run faster before, gotten a 4.0 before, beaten your time before, your parents were married before, you’ve been on Varsity before, or you’ve been Homecoming Queen before. Many athletes have trying seasons that stretch them to become more than they ever were before. Though their race time might not reflect their work, the person they have become through that work does reflect in who they are.
I assume many other sports derive this same principle, but never have I felt it so raw and reviving than through running. I know that running has shaped me into the person I am and it continues to shape me. Just as resistance builds muscles even stronger than they were before, we have the capability to rise to the occasion to meet the challenges that we face. Humans are incredible. A diamond in the rough. Nails, yet just as tough. Keep being the best people you can be. Face challenges with a fury and pride, for yourself, those you love, and those you will love. Fight it with an effort you’ve never had before. Your efforts can at times feel wasted and you might feel discouraged, but remember how these “thorns in the flesh” can change you. Keep holding on, working, trying and caring, and eventually those endorphins will kick in.