A Running Philosophy

Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind. Jackie Joyner-Kersee

As a runner, you don’t have decades of improvement, unless perhaps you are reading this book in your elementary school classroom . You’re always on the precipice of decline. Acknowledge that and perhaps we can think of it more like the happy elderly people. Love where you are, love who you are with, and be happy in the present. The finish line is coming for all runners and no one wants to be the first to break the tape.  The Happy Runner

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?  Albert Einstein

Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don’t have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up. Amby Burfoot

It is our duty as men and women to proceed as though limits to our abilities do not exist.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin 

For me, success in running wasn’t about how far or how fast I was going — it was about making a commitment to accomplish something hard, and then putting in the work to follow through.  Emily Abbate

Every Day a Test

Who says, “I Love Test Day”? No one ever! For most students, pop quizzes, tests, or final exams usually bring on uncomfortable physical symptoms like sweaty palms and upset stomaches. Athletes often experience similar physical discomforts when they are tested…on race day! Before I started entering running races, I never understood why anyone who runs for fun or fitness would willingly put themselves through the anxiety of running a race. Why would anyone sign up for such distress and discomfort? Well, fast forward a year and I’ve since entered over a dozen running races, and now I think I get the answer to that question. Runners show up for races like students show up for exams–to prove what they have learned…inside and outside of the classroom. Is it possible to look forward to these ‘exam days’ without dread and fear? I believe so; but only if you and I have properly prepared for the test by spending quality time in training or study. How do we know if we are ready for exam day? I know I am ready to be tested when I have confidence…confidence in the quality of my training or my study time. This assurance is not a feeling I try to muster or hope for in order to fake myself out. I either know for certain that I am ready or not; if there is any doubt in my heart or head, then I most certainly know that I am not ready; my sweaty palms and upset stomach is evidence enough. To be tested on the race route, in the classroom, or in our everyday lives, creates something like a finish line for us. The finish line is the terminus of a training cycle or academic semester. It is the culmination of all the days and weeks we have spent absorbing and synthesizing knowledge, whether that knowledge is physical, psychological or spiritual. If we embrace our test days as opportunities to consolidate and prove our training, then we can face the finish line with a confident smile on our face and cheerful exuberance in our heart.