Small things in life will pop up to teach us lessons. Sometimes they are big things. If we learn to be intuitive enough to catch the smaller things, I like to think that the catastrophic lessons can be minimized or avoided. Or that's what I tell myself at least to feel better ;). When I was younger there were times I used to think "why does this keep happening?" or "why is this not changing?". As an adult thankfully I have learned that things never go away until they have taught us the lesson we need to learn. The paradox here is that you won't learn the lesson until you are ready and willing to.
Running has taught me a great deal about myself, about life, humility, and hard work. While it would be easy for me to prescribe running to the world as a "natural anti-depressant", a perfect "find yourself" pathway, or an easy feat in any aspect, I won't be so naïve. Everyone has a different path. Like any workplace or group of friends, there are always a few who will abuse the system. Or miss the mark entirely.
I was excited when I completed my last 30km run of my Around the Bay training cycle. The plan that has led me to this point (without injury!) calls for a 2 week taper. This simply means reduced volume. Letting my body repair, gain strength, and feel fresh on race day. I received some backlash online regarding a taper period. I was taken back at first, as generally the running community is the most supportive group I have come across. Have they not started somewhere once too? Is there something wrong with me wanting to do well at something I have dedicated this amount of time to? It got me thinking about the downsides of running and racing. Sometimes people forget where they have come from. They forget that not everyone is a marathoner, an ironman, runs a 4:10 kilometre, or is even thinking about the "prizes" available at the finish line. Some have a goal simply to finish, and this will be life changing for them. Some compete in the races for the fun and camaraderie of the sport. Some have raised money for a charity or cause that is close to their heart. So when I come across those who seem to have forgotten these simple things, it makes me sad. What happened to being humble? Humility? Even transparency?
The e-mail I read at the library that day informed me that I was accepted into the Toronto Yonge Street 10km Sub-Elite category. I then stepped on my 2 year old while thinking about it. Brutal. If that wasn't a perfect sign shot at me to KEEP IT REAL! Or STAY HUMBLE!? Or maybe it was just an accident. Either way, It certainty made me immediately think about what really is most important at that moment.
I am continuously learning that whatever I do, work HARD, but always remember how far I have come. Not everything has been or will always be easy. And the best things will come after you have tackled many, many obstacles. The key is to stay humble, choose happiness, and keep going.