The above quote is one of my mother’s favorites. It’s become her mantra to get out the door and go run. It seems to be working as she’s completed more than a few half marathons after taking up running a couple of years ago.
I think of this quote when I am bummed that the alarm is going off again at a time that begins with a “4”. I think of it when it’s 20 degrees outside and I’ve got to pull on what feels like 30 pounds of clothing before I head out the door. (Or, like today, when it’s 75 degrees with 90% humidity at 5am and I can’t possibly remove any more clothing without being arrested.)
Running is a huge piece of who I am, though I came to the sport later in life. I’m not sure if I was always meant to be a runner, but by now I’ve run so much that I feel I have definitely become one. I am so grateful to have found both the running itself and the wonderful community that comes with it.
That being said, there are definitely days when it’s tough to get out the door. On those types of days I think about this quote. While I hope that I’m one of those runners that is still running well into their 90s, I know I shouldn’t take any day for granted.
Not one of us is guaranteed another day on this Earth – or another run. Each time we lace up our shoes we should embrace it. Embrace THIS run, this time to stretch our legs and lungs and marvel at our body’s ability to do this. To crest each hill on our route, to move over the ground with long strides, legs picking up speed as we cruise on the downhill. For some of our fellow brothers and sisters, this is a feeling that they will never get to experience. They will never feel the beautiful, muscles-burning, lungs-aching, heart-pounding exhilaration of the last few minutes of a tempo run. Or the slow, relaxed pace of a recovery run that allows you to watch the sun slowly rise to bathe you in the new morning light.
Each day, each run is a gift. When you get lonely or frustrated on the roads and tired of putting in the miles day after day, remember this:
“There will be a day when you can no longer do this. TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.”
Go lace up those shoes, my friends.