Today we ran our first race since the Little Rock Marathon, the Snake Run, a three hour 3.75 mile trail loop through our local urban wilderness area, Turkey Mountain. It was no easy run. Despite injury and pain, and perhaps some unseen bruising, my running partner once again set out and met his goal, completing 4 laps, (15 miles), while I ran mostly behind (mostly). We did this in just a hair under 3 hours. Mission accomplished with only one fall. I am not saying who fell, that really isn’t important. Overall it was a great race. It wasn’t without it’s challenges, or falls, or walls, but I’ll put this one in the ‘Had Fun’ column for sure.
After having been by my running partners side (or behind) as he’s pushed through his personal ‘walls’ on several occasions now, including our marathon, I wanted to take this opportunity to say how amazing it is to witness and be a part of. Inspirational comes to mind. (I know that is a tad sappy, deal with it, it gets worse)
We have all been there–had a bad day, where we just can’t get our head in the game, or when it’s just simply hard-as-hell and painful. But it is different when it’s not you, but instead it’s the other person that’s struggling. During our longest runs so far, Greenleaf 30K, our 20 mile training run, and the Little Rock Marathon, we both encountered moments where it was extremely difficult to push through the pain (The Wall), and find strength to put one foot in front of the other, but having the other person there, I think, is one of the things that kept us going. Sometimes to climb over a wall it’s just easier with another person to give you a boost. (Sappier still. You were warned.)
I think, we seem to find our own strength when the other person is struggling to find theirs. We dig deep because we know the other person is doing the same to overcome their own battles. We ignore our own pains because we see the other person moving forward in spite of theirs. Bearing witness to someone fight extreme pain can make you feel helpless, and is almost painful by itself; it’s in that place where we find strength of our own to support the other person, in whatever way we can (or they will allow), and that helps us push through, and almost forget our own pain (almost). Our partnership is like riding a teeter totter. When one is down the other is up. (Okay down right saccharine I know. Sorry, not sorry.)
Today, similar to Little Rock and countless other runs, when the teeter totter shifted, it took us both working hard to restore balance. More often than not, we are right in the middle… let’s just hope one of us doesn’t decide to jump off suddenly. (ouch!)