Published by Timothy Miller
Yup, running is hard. Everyone who has ever taken a pair of tennis shoes and hit the track knows that fact.
Not only is it physically taxing, but it’s mentally challenging as well. I don’t know about you, but my brain never gives me any peace while I’m running. It’s constantly nagging at me, like listening to a badly played violin. “You don’t know what you’re doing, why are you pretending that you do?”
I reply that I do know what I’m doing, but it’s hard to talk with any conviction when I’m fighting my own brain.
The Fight is with the Driven
It takes three things to be a runner, three absolutely essential items that all serious runner have. The first is drive.
Drive began a long time ago, when great beasts roamed the earth. Colossal creatures of unimaginable heights, man saw himself for the tiny being that he is and ran.
That need for drive didn’t leave with the dinosaurs. What did leave is the necessity for it. We were forced to run to get away from a man-eating beast, but most of us aren’t forced (as in life-or-death-forced) to do much of anything these days. So we have to force ourselves, you have to run like your life depends on it. Who knows, maybe one day it will?
The Fight is with the Honest
Running is hard. We all know it. But we don’t want everyone else to know how much we struggle with it. I mean sure, running is hard for Jim, but then again, that’s Jim. I wouldn’t struggle with such a little thing, right?
As a runner, you need to know your limits. Simple as that. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
The Fight is with the Patient
Some people can go from couch-potato to multi-marathoner in 2 weeks (citation needed). I am not one of those people. You aren’t either.
Let’s face it: Hollywood is lying to us. Nothing worth having ever comes quickly, easily, or cheaply. Hugh MacLeod realized this, and said that
Being good at anything is like figure skating—the definition of being good at it is being able to make it look easy. But it never is easy. Ever. That’s what the stupidly wrong people conveniently forget.
Don’t worry if it’s hard, just try it again tomorrow. If you can run one mile, good! Tomorrow try for two. If you can’t make two, then don’t worry about it. It doesn’t matter how slowly you go, just don’t stop. My current favorite quote about patience comes from A. A. Milne, who said
Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.
We’ll get there some day. Isn’t that nice to think about? You shouldn’t be running like the wind. Don’t do that. Run like the river.
Guess what? Programming is hard too.
And like running, it feels like a race with many contestants.
But don’t worry. It’s actually exactly like running. It takes three things, three things are essential: Drive, honesty, and patience. Everything else will follow.