Last year I ran my first half marathon, and it’s what prompted me to start this blog. This past weekend, I ran my second half marathon.
And, it sucked.
I think I hated every minute of it until I crossed the finish line. I was in pain the entire time, I had blood blisters all over my feet, and I couldn’t feel my legs for the majority of the run.
But, I learned something new about myself, as I usually do when I run… I’m a lot stronger than I think I am.
For about three miles my music shut off and I couldn’t turn it back on. Devastating, I know. So, I did what I’ve never done before. I just went with it. And it was… enlightening.
As the scenery whizzed by, I heard conversations I wouldn’t have otherwise heard. I took in the spectators cheering us on. And I noticed that there were a lot of people not listening to music. That prompted a thought. These people are running 13.1 (some 26.2) miles without music. The mental endurance these people have greatly outweighs the physical endurance they have, I believe, because in that three miles I was running without music all I had to keep me occupied were my thoughts, which were just as tired as my body.
I learned a new word the other day. Equanimity. It means evenness of mind even under stress, or right disposition, balance.
People who run 13.1 miles without music possess equanimity.
So, in my time without music, I tried to practice equanimity. I steadied my thoughts. I ran the mile I was in. I focused on those around me and while I did so I heard a man tell his friend, as we were approaching a hill, to “take short strides and power through.”
That, my friends, is equanimity.
Now, per usual, how do you translate equanimity into your daily life? It’s tough, especially when it feels like everything around you is going awry. And, I don’t have a magic solution for you either. All I can suggest is take it one thought at a time. One step at a time. Power through and trust yourself. You’re a lot stronger than you think you are, and the finish line is closer than you may believe.
And, sometimes, it’s okay to enjoy the music.
Unless it’s Hello by Adele…