Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Voices

I was running behind two of the older, female runners on the Cape Fear Flyers team and listening to their conversation as we all made our way along a meandering macadam pathway in the wooded area behind the Ashley High School complex.  The girls were taking about how when they run (and race) that they are essentially competing against themselves. Trying to get a little better with every run. And maybe they'll endeavor after a time to shift some of their focus to competing against other runners.

And that's what a lot of this running boils down to in the long run... we are competing against ourselves. In the hope of becoming better versions of ourselves in the process. We compete against the voices in our heads that tell us to slow down since we are not fast enough, or strong enough, or tough enough... or courageous, athletic, skilled, gifted... the list can go on ad infinitum. 

Every time we complete a run, no matter how far or how fast... we silence those voices.

Every time we lace up our shoes, and try our best... we are becoming better versions of our god given selves.

99% of us will never win a race. If we measured the appreciation we can find in our sport by the size of our trophy displays... most of us would have hung up our sneakers and threw our gear a long time ago. And left the sport solely in the hands of those born with the high VO2 rates and freakishly low pulse rates.

No, we do it in part for the feeling we get when we accomplish those things that perhaps previously we thought not to be possible. That feeling that we can carry with us throughout the rest of our day. Knowing it's always right there to be had again and again and again. It's just a matter of not paying heed to those little voices...