I think Hal Higdon is messing with me. Here is the training program I am following and right now it's really easy. My general rule is that if I step outside or on a treadmill, I will not run less than three miles. This program is chock full of three mile runs! I got this! No problem, right??? Well, if it's easy, what's the point? I want a challenge. I don't need to attempt to conquer the world every day, but I have to feel challenged. The reason I run is because it takes me out of my comfort zone. I guess it's good that I am comfortable with three miles now. It's 5 or 6 songs on my play list. It's less than 30 minutes. Done.
Today I thought about my son. I watched my oldest son lose three wrestling matches in one night last week. I listened to strangers comment on his losses. I watched a referee ask my son if he was ok to continue two times after he hit the mat head first. I heard the coaches of the opposing team second guess the decision to allow him to wrestle the strongest member of their team. Then I watched him fight hard and lose.
He's thirteen. He already knows what it's like to give it your all and fall short. He's had victory within his grasp only to have it yanked away fast and far, taken from him by a stronger or more skilled opponent. I've learned a lot more from watching his losses than I have from watching his victories in this sport. He expects to win. His heart is in it. Even when the odds are stacked against him- even when it's an undefeated team with a ridiculous record, even when his opponent is clearly bigger and stronger and more skilled, he expects to win. Why accept a challenge if you don't expect to conquer it? Why bother setting the bar if you don't expect to exceed? Why step up if you don't expect to win? This child came from me. Blood and skin and bones that are partly mine. He is growing into an amazing and honorable young man. This is what fueled my run. His heart. His will. His determination. The sheer joy that comes from the privilege of being in his life and helping him grow and learn and love and understand and identify. How could I ponder him without feeling like I could soar?
So tonight, I ran faster than my 5k personal record. That is no coincidence at all.