The Polar Vortex has certainly flipped the script over the past couple of weeks. The St. Louis summer soupiness is officially upon us. Heat and humidity rule the region no matter what time of day you venture out, driving home the root of the word endurance: to endure.
As distance runners, we are hardwired to fight through adversity. We eat inconvenience and tough conditions for breakfast. Anyone who has run for awhile and truly tested his or her limits knows that there is always a portion of training or of a race that must simply be endured. Running and racing is not always sunshine and rainbows. There are times that test our mettle.
This past week has purified us. Many of our pollutants have been burned off. Our hesitancy and uncertainty about our strength of resolve are no more, for we have endured. As Gandhi said, "Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender—that is strength." We have endured over a week in the St Louis summer smelter and came through as a stronger steel.
Congratulations on overcoming the adversity that Mother Nature has thrown before us. If you are still battling through doubt and anxiety, find a band of brothers and sisters to help. (Might I suggest checking out a FLEET FEET race or social run?) There will always be those rough patches in training and racing. Remember, smooth waters do not make skillful sailors. It is through enduring these rough times that we discover more about ourselves and transform into the athletes—and people—we dream to become. So as the weatherman continues to spread the doom and gloom of heat and humidity, embrace the opportunity to understand the word endurance as only runners can.
Good Luck and Happy Racing!
Tim Cary is FLEET FEET's Assistant Training Manager, coach of the FLEET FEET-sponsored Runnababez Elite team, and manager of the FLEET FEET Racing Team. Over his 20 years of coaching, Tim has coached athletes to three national team championships, five national individual championships, two national records, and numerous All-American and All-State honors. Click here to receive Tim's weekly article via email.