Last Friday I ran at 1500…in Oklahoma…during the summer…without shade. Was this a wise decision? No. Did I learn something? Yes.
As a runner, have you ran with the sun at your back, chasing your shadow? I have on multiple occasions. It’s fun and, strangely enough, makes me run faster. I don’t know why. I don’t need to know why.
On this day, in particular, I began following my shadow 30:00 into the run. I’d been dehydrated since a triathlon the previous weekend. Additionally, 30:00 has been my longest run in the past 3 weeks as I’ve been coming back from an injury. I had wanted to stop about 15:00 into the run, but kept pushing for a couple more minutes at a time. When I turned and put the sun at my back at 30:00–“quittin’ time”–I looked at my shadow and thought about all of the things inside of me that I am still chasing. The ideas that I think people don’t want to hear, the designs that I should find the to time sketch, the story ideas that I can’t eloquently share on paper, the races left unraced, the people not yet thanked, the places still to travel, the research left undone…I wanted to explode. But again, I looked down at my shadow, dark and nondescript. I realized that these are only the things that I can think of within me, yet, there are so many things about me that I will never even know.
When I turned the block and headed into the sun, without looking, I knew my shadow was following me. All of who I can be will remain right here inside me. All of my abilities are at my disposal. I just have to keep pushing for them…digging deep…doing MY best…fearing only that I left part of me in the shadows due to worry that it wasn’t good enough.
“Live right now. Yeah, just be yourself. It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.” The Middle Jimmy Eat World