As many of you know, I am a runner. I have been off and on since high school. I ran cross country and track back in the day. I continued running for fun in college. I coached track and cross country for two years. And about two and a half years ago I returned to the sport I love.
I have learned a lot from running over the years. A lot about the sport. A lot about the mechanics and physicality and mental toughness required. A lot about myself.
And so I want to start a series here about the lessons I’ve learned from running.
Lesson #1 – Running through Pain
Sadly, this is a lesson I have learned time in and time out. For the past year I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis. It is a tightening of the fascia in the foot that makes walking, standing, or running incredibly painful, especially in the morning.
I have learned to run through it. I have realized that if I start moving in the mornings the fascia stretch and the pain eases. I can get moving to the same pace with no pain in the middle of it.
Which, in many ways, is like life. We encounter painful events, things that are discomforting or difficult. Yet perseverance can be key. Learning to move with the pain can allow your life to stretch; you arrive at a new normal, one that is different than before.
Yet I’ve also learned that some pain cannot be ignored. There are times when you have to stop and rest or you will never be well.
This, too, is like life. Sometimes we have to stop and rest. To realize that we can’t always “soldier on” and push through. Sometimes we realize that we need a chance to stop, reflect, regroup, learn, maybe even cry, and come to another new normal.
Running through pain takes wisdom. When do we push through, and when do we stop and rest? It is something that you learn over time. And something that a good coach or mature runner can help you ascertain. That is the next topic we will discuss…