Caminante, no hay Puentes, se hace Puentes al andar. (Voyager, there are no bridges, one builds them as one walks.) – Gloria E. Anzaldúa
I like to begin my runs at our local rec center, rather than from my house. There are more options if I do, which I appreciate. If I begin at my house, I have only two choices – I can run downhill, into town or uphill, away from town. The problem with both routes, after I leave my little street, is that they involve long stretches on a road with no shoulder and a significant amount of traffic.
For this reason, I drove into the rec center this morning to begin my run. Snow was in the forecast, but I hoped to beat it. I thought I could be back to the rec center and in the warm shower before the snow began.
It has been a downright balmy Autumn here in southeastern Pennsylvania. I reasoned that even if it did begin to snow during my run, the snow would not stick to the roads.
My sketchy plans were ruined, however, when, still a mile and a half away from the rec center and my warm shower, it began to sleet. And rain. My face was pelted with tiny ice pellets.
I ran as fast as I could back to the rec center, but I got soaked and cold. The picture above is me in full teeth-chattering shiver mode.
Winter gives runners a chance to develop our grit. The grit that we develop through running in adverse conditions can benefit us in other areas of our lives.
We need grit to sustain us in our relationships. Even though I cannot imagine my life without my hubby, we have been through challenges typical of most long-term marriages. Both of us have, at one time or another, fantasized about packing it in and living alone on the beach in Hawaii with no responsibilities, no cares, and no squabbling. It was grit (and love) that allowed us to hold on when we felt like giving up.
We need endurance in our parenting. Bill and I were in our late 20s when our youngest son was born. I cannot say that raising three boys on a shoestring was easy. I yelled too often. I didn’t listen enough. I could have been more encouraging. But, somehow, they all made it to adulthood. We’re still all on speaking terms, and actually enjoy each others’ company. Fortunately, we all have a similar sense of humor. And grit.
We need strength and tenacity in our friendships. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have propped me up, given me inspiration, or been strong and steady when I needed help balancing. I want to return the favor. I need grit so that I can show up and be tough when the need arises. My goal is to be a friend who can be counted on, no matter what.
Faith takes patience and perseverance. It seems like the path to faith should be easy and smooth. In reality, it’s more often messy and unsettled. I pray for restraint and forbearance. I must acknowledge that some days are just easier than others. Some days, it takes all the grit I can muster to keep the faith.
Running long distances increases the grit I have in reserve. Because I have pushed through the wall in a marathon, I know that I can keep going when I feel like I want to quit.
Because I have put my head down and powered my way up long, steep hills, I know I can do difficult things. I have practiced regularly during training runs.
Running gives you self-confidence. It teaches you to keep breathing your way through the difficulties. Inhale. Exhale. Make it your mantra until you have overcome the obstacles in your way.
Registering for a race a year in advance, then aiming your conditioning for that particular event makes commitment a way of life. We stumble out of a warm bed while it is still dark, gulp a cup of coffee as fortification, and begin putting one foot in front of the other because we have dedicated ourselves to the task. Grit takes devotion.
Training builds bridges over the chasms of self-doubt and insecurity. It helps us get past weakness and impatience. Training lets us know we can endure. We build those bridges with our sweat and resolve, with our grit and our will.
A few weeks ago, I was looking up horoscopes for an article I was writing. I found this horoscope and saved it for future use. (From creators.com)
“Grit isn’t really something you have or don’t have. It’s like sweat. It’s made in the moment you show up, and get to work.”
Winter is coming. Time to get your grit on.
I am linking up with Clean Eats Fast Feets for her Week in Review, Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, blovedboston for Weekending, Patty, Erika and Marcia for Tuesdays on the Run, Running on Happy, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs for the Coaches’ Corner, and Holly from HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking the Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap.