Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 7: Patience vs. Laziness

“Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength” - Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

By the time I got to Rockville, Maryland, I felt like I was dying. My legs were killing me. My body ached. Things just weren't clicking. I wasn't getting into the groove of it. It seemed the Endurance King himself had been wrong.

My good friend, Marshall Ulrich, had said that the first ten states would be especially tough. On the eleventh day, he informed me, I would fall into the routine of the journey and things would start to get easier. He should know; in 2008, at age 57, he completed his 3,000 mile run across America in just 52.5 days, breaking two transcontinental speed records.

Marshall knew that at some point the body learns to adapt to what you put it through. When you run 50 miles a day, everyday, your body needs time to process the abuse you are subjecting it to. Eleven days. That was the magic number. Well here I was: state eleven. Maryland. What the heck was the problem? Why weren't things working out?

Instead of giving in to despair, I stuck with it. I kept running, always focused on the task at hand. Gradually things started coming together. My body eased into the run. By state fourteen, I felt so fit, so in-shape. My body was rejoicing! I was hauling butt; the road was flowing beneath my feet, the wind was whipping through my hair. I felt so alive. Marshall knew his stuff.

Very often in life, a little patience goes a long way. When things aren't going your way, it helps to stay calm and wait - not a passive waiting, but a proactive one. Persistence will pay off and get you the results that lazy hopelessness can never provide.

1 comment:

scott said...

I remember when you were in California, you started off with a cup of coffee in hand and wearing Crocs and we were going really slow ... that did not last very long at all and once you drank your coffee bam off you went ... I was thinking this is unreal, you had just run 50 miles in 40+ states and I am struggling to keep up with you. Seems as though I have spent many, many hours trying to keep up with Lisa in the desert