Monday, May 13, 2013

Long Run Battle Scars

There will be days when you show up for your run, give it everything you’ve got, and all you wind up having to show for it is a busted toe and a bloody sock.

But, that’s okay.  No one ever said this long run was going to be easy (it’s not!).  No one promised we’d get through wound free (we won’t).  In fact, there are only two things I will guarantee you about taking the long run.  First, you WILL get bloodied.  No matter what you do, how hard you train, how well prepared you start, how confident and motivated you are, no matter if you run like a gazelle or shuffle like a turtle, you WILL get hurt.  Somewhere along the way, you’ll probably be running along just fine and then, bam, you find yourself on the ground bruised and bloodied.  But, before this post gets you too depressed, let me tell you the second long run guarantee I will make to you:  You WILL survive.  You will get up, you will dust your hands and knees off, and you will run again.  And you will run stronger for it.

The long run is hard.  I won’t lie to you about that.  Along the way, we all suffer injuries.  Some of them just a small bloody toe, some of them pretty darn debilitating.  Some of our wounds are visible on the outside and some are hidden from obvious view.  We all will struggle physically and mentally to get through.  But, if we just keep limping along, we WILL eventually get through.

 I read somewhere a quote that really got me thinking:
 “The wound is the place where the light enters you” – Rumi  

When our inner or outer wounds are at their worst and gaping wide open, this is when we are most able to receive the light Rumi is talking about.  When we are vulnerable and hurt we are most open and what can enter when we are that open can be truly beautiful and healing.  So, if you find yourself with a gaping wound, wait, look around, and be open to the healing that is coming your way.  The light that Rumi talks about will not only heal us, but make us stronger.  We will not be afraid of falling again, for we will have already learned how to get up.  We will be able to run faster and more courageously knowing our own ability to heal.

And what will we have to show for getting through?  Possibly not much more than our scars and the knowledge that we made it through (if you ask me though, every run should at least come with a participation medal at the end).  Wear those scars proudly!  Those long run scars mean you dared to participate.  You didn’t play it safe, you dared to run.  And when you got knocked down bloodied and bruised, by sheer determination you dared to get up and keep going.  Celebrate your long run battle scars!  You earned them.  And when you see someone else with their scars on display, know that they too tried, fell, got back up, and healed.  Celebrate each other's long run battle scars!  We’ve all earned them.
Today I share this participation medal with you.

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