Summertime is ending (or has ended) for most of us. I’m looking forward to going back to school next week, because it’s generally a lot less stressful than most jobs. I’m also looking forward to continuing what I’ve started this week–a really heavy workout schedule. I’m starting to love it. It reminds me of high school (a whole 10 years ago!), when I used to play soccer and run cross country. Some summers our cross country team would drive up to the mountains, where the weather was cooler and our coach would drop us off 10-15 miles away from our destination–a German restaurant on top of the hill. From there, we’d do our best to run up and down hills in a higher elevation than we were used to. I was usually the slowest runner on the team, it being my first season, and that ended up being kind of cool because my coach, Mr. Dennis, would run to meet the last runner and coach us back.
Mr. Dennis was a world-class coach. He was very positive and made me feel like an Olympian just for finishing the 10 mile run without stopping. It was there that I started to love running–in those moments when Mr. Dennis would coach me, telling me how strong I was getting physically and mentally. He wasn’t in it for him, he was looking out for me. Pushing me to become stronger.
I miss those 10 mile runs, not because they’re easy but because I miss the coaching. My mind would be fighting me, telling me to stop because I was exhausted and all of a sudden, I’d see Mr. Dennis coming down the hill running to meet me. And then I was able to push through that mental block and finish pushing myself.
My summer was also filled with 5k’s and a long run from our desert town to the beach. Our team members each took turns running a few miles, for about 12 hours. When we were finished, we all took showers and grabbed dinner. I was exhausted, but it was that kind of training that made our team champions in many of our races. Being around great runners and great athletes made me cognizant of a mental fortitude we all have and we can all tap into. We all have it inside of us, and sometimes we just need to push ourselves and find what works.