Here we are, in the comfort of our where-evers, talking about those really tough workouts. It’s safe here. There is no stress, the pounding of our hearts in our chests are mere memories and clichés; metaphors to describe how hard something once was. And now, we’re safely on the other side and we reminisce that ‘Yah! It was hard, but it wasn’t really all that bad.’
It is the luxury of seeing the arena where we once fought not so long ago – from the dispassionate stands. Our memories discount how close we came to failure. Our success blinds us to the struggle we endured.
But we can remember.
The legs were empty. The breath uncontrolled – so deep and fast, rasping in our breasts. We pressed on and leaned into it, muscles protesting and fluttering in defiance. The wind blowing against our sweat-drenched shirt, cooling us and offering some tiny comfort before being twisted into a negative thought, ‘blowing against me, making it harder’. My hip hurts. My foot. My form. Fix my form. Going uphill. How can I stay positive? Three more miles to go at this pace; miles are so long – do you know how long a mile is?. The body – it has begun to collude with the mind – the merest hint of negativity and an enormous urge to quit running washes through me. My body flirts dangerously with coming to a stop – almost involuntarily. It takes a supreme act of will to keep going and a bit of psychic momentum has been washed away – it’s all so much harder now.
Thoughts come raining down at a terrific pace and most of them are negative; some are simultaneously true. They are the terror of a murderous storm, drowning out all calm, all sanity, all control.
And yet, in the midst of this cacophany, we held on. With so many reason presenting themselves in rapid succession, we remained. We found a way. We preserved the still quiet space within, our legs moved, and with clouds of nattering negativity, we somehow smiled for a beautiful, brief moment.