The Running Teacher

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Running continues to be a great teacher. It has taught me patience, appreciation, and sportsmanship. Patience has and continues to provide life lessons. The quickest example is when I have respected the time it takes to develop into a better runner, the results do reveal themselves. It might be in the form of a faster pace, stronger muscles, or more endurance. The application to life is that when I practice patience, it might seem like forever, but there is a desirable result – a raise, new responsibility, or simple recognition for hard work.

Appreciation also has its lessons in and out of my running shoes. Being thankful for the ability to lace up and pound the pavement can invite a mindset that puts a long training run into the perspective of something that I “get” to do, opposed to something that I “have” to do. Copy and paste that into any possible undesirable task faced at home or work and the perception changes rather quickly.

Sportsmanship is not reserved for race day. When I have run my heart out but my competitor has had a better race than me that day, I give her a fist pound, say “great run”, and train harder for next time. If my cheering section is bigger and louder that doesn’t promise me a win. It would be ill-mannered to scream that I should have won. Sportsmanlike conduct means understanding that sometimes there will be someone who is better than our best. This is ok – disappointing – but ok. It’s just fuel to fight harder! Try different training, get involved in another capacity, but keep it classy and running will continue to fold in the lessons of patience, appreciation, and eventually a win where you are receiving the accolades. ~trvw


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