More Than Just Miles

Last March, I decided to be brave and start running with a speedy group of runners.

I am not speedy.

My genetic potential is comparable to that of a sloth; these people have cheetah running through their veins.

Their jog is my race pace.

For just over a year, I have spent nearly every Wednesday night and Saturday morning running a warm up pace that makes me overheat, then starting the interval workout which involves me sometimes running slower than the ‘warm up pace‘ and watching the lithe people run away from me at incredible speeds, then ‘slinky-ing‘ forward while they run back for me on the recovery, watching them sprint away from me some more, and then eventually finding myself labouring up a hill to exit the river valley at the end of the workout to find the group of speedsters waiting to fist pound it out before we run back to the shop at a cool down pace which only makes me sweat even more.

I know, I make it sound like SO MUCH FUN.

So, why in the world do I keep showing up?

Because, after running nearly 600 kms with these people, I have found a group of people who dream big dreams and literally chase them down with all that they have.

  • Impress yourself.

My assumption was that someone of my athletic caliber would never be welcome, but what I found was a group of people who push themselves to their limits, until they fail, so that they could expand and grow. And all they request is that you do the same – no matter what it looks like.

Edmonton in the near spring

It was a gorgeous evening for a run with the speedsters up here in the subarctic. Listening to the crunch of the snow under your feet and the huff your breath as the day turns to dust and you run towards the twilight is a wee bit magical.

 

Despite my genetic potential, these are my people.

Whoever you surround yourself with effects who you are becoming. And in my effort to become a better woman, one who knows how to recover from failure and has humility, there is no better place I can find myself than one of the slowest people in a pack of speedsters.

  • Isn’t it better to be pushed towards your potential than held back by your own mediocrity?

I rarely want to actually go to run after the speedsters on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but I always want to have run, to have accomplished. And when I am done with the workout and completely spent, happiness and pride fills my chest.

  • The coffee after the weekly near death experience helps too!

Weaving the discipline of the weekly workout into my schedule and having people who know who I am and what I want to accomplish helps me keep moving forward, to keep putting in mile after mile.

We were all made to fly.

Photo

And the lesson that I keep learning, because I am a very slow learner, is that all I need to do is give whatever is in front of me my absolute best without self-judgement and that success looks different day to day.

And after quite a few months and hundreds of miles, I find myself keeping up with the pack now and again. In the midst of the miles, I have shared snippets of life with some fabulous people and find myself getting faster and more compassionate towards humanity. Sharing people’s struggles and success in the midst of the footfalls and breath huffing out of your lungs changes you.

  • Getting faster at this running thing suddenly became a fringe benefit of living with a bigger heart and more people to do life with. Even if those people can literally run circles around me.

Sometimes it is good to take a step back and remember that showing up, where you show up, and who you show up with is your choice.

Always.

Who are you going to chase? Where are you people? How are you showing up?

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Comments

  1. March to your own beat. Then someone else’s for a while. Then you’re again. Then someone else’s. Before you know it, your beat is faster — and more fulfilling…

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