Saturday, September 5, 2015

Keeping things in perspective

Counting marathoning as a hobby is a bit of a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, it keeps me healthy, gives me a great sense of accomplishment, helps me meet new people, and takes my mind off of the stresses of life.  It accomplishes what every hobby should.


It takes a lot to run marathons.  Sacrifice.  Patience.  Time.  It's one thing to dream big and set big goals, but it's difficult to not feel like the world is crashing down when those goals aren't met.  It starts to feel like more than a hobby when it just shouldn't.  Hobbies shouldn't consume an entire life at the expense of other areas, nor should so much self-worth be based on an arbitrary time goal.

Keeping perspective during a marathon training cycle is difficult but something I need to consistently work on.

Yesterday Stevie, Neale and I went to Wildwood, NJ.  We spent some time on the beach and then spent the night with a friend before heading out this morning.  I had saved my 8 mile run to do on the beach, reasoning that the change of scenery and running on the beach would be preferable to running my same old boring running routes at home.


It didn't quite go according to plan.  It was much hotter than I anticipated in the afternoon, and when you run at the beach you pretty much run in direct sunlight the entire time.  The humidity soaked through my shoes within 3 miles so that they squelched with every step thereafter.  I barreled into a headwind for much of the run.  It was slow and monotonous and not at all the kind of run I had envisioned.

But afterwards we all went to the beach where Neale went into the water for the first time of his life (he'd been to the beach before, but only ever stood at the water's edge).  We took turns holding his hands while the waves approached him, and the look of sheer joy on his face is one I hope I never forget.  The shrieks, the laughter, the giant grin, the splashing and the pulling of his mother's arms as he struggled to go farther... It made my heart swell to see him take to the ocean the way he did.

Greater men than I have tried and failed to put words to their feelings of love, so I will leave it at this: Good runs or bad, I will always love my son more.

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