I am helping someone get ready to run her first half marathon. I've helped her figure out her training, but mostly I'm her accountability partner. We all need that--someone who is invested and paying attention to what we are doing. Mostly it's someone who cares about our goal right along side of us.
This person sends me an email every week about what she did and how the training is going for her. And she is nailing it. I serve as a sounding board and a cheerleader--a genuinely excited and 100% invested cheerleader. And not surprisingly, I am learning a lot about myself as an athlete, too.
It's funny to be helping someone train for a long run when I can't seem to run a long run myself. Really not funny at all, of course--more like perfect timing. Today I got this text from her after asking how she felt about her10 mile long run:
I feel like I can actually run this thing
it's just three more miles
I have a lot more faith in my mental endurance now
That last text really got me: I have a lot more faith in my mental endurance now. What a beautiful way to phrase it. And that's what it really comes down to, isn't it? In everything, it comes down to faith in our mental endurance. What we are really learning to trust, to believe in, is not the course itself that's in front of us, but our capability to stay the course. That's really what a goal is for, I think. You point yourself towards this thing so that you have to travel a certain road to get there, and what you pick up along the road is why you're actually traveling it to begin with.
I've known all along that I'm not actually after the long run, I'm after something bigger hidden inside of it. It's big, alright, but it's not so hidden. It's just believing that I can start something and finish it. In writing, in running, in life--I can see it through, whatever it is. I'm after faith in my mental endurance.