The Battle

Mother Nature has a way of throwing her weight around when we choose to challenge her. As winter hits full force here in western Pennsylvania, taking off on the frozen pavement in nothing more than running shorts, shirt, gloves and a hat allowed my body to be subjected directly to the cold. Something we all know I have a love for!

Half-way through the run  yesterday, I was up against a fairly steep hill climb. At the bottom, calmness prevailed. It represents the easy times in our lives. Little push back, and barely any discomfort. Where the majority of society chooses to live as much as possible. During the half-mile climb the wind started to pick up. It pushed hard against my chest, and the snow began to blow. We see the goals we set, and begin to attack them. It can be difficult, as turning around seems so easy. As the hill got much steeper, and I got closer to the summit, the final 250-yards was an onslaught of heavy, blowing snow and a fierce head wind. Mother Nature wasn’t giving an inch, but then again, neither was I. In the end, I gave one final push and cleared the crest of the hill. Breathing heavily, sweating profusely and feeling a burn deep within my quads, this brief moment, and others like these, we live for in endurance sports. The feeling of overcoming a difficult struggle is unlike anything else in the world. My beard was frozen from spit, sweat and a runny nose. No one ever said distance running was glamorous. My hands were cold and my legs were flush from the pounding snow and wind. I was a little tired, but never broken.

Use the hill as a metaphor. When you’re out trying to climb a mountain in life, you’re going to encounter push back. You’re going to encounter people trying to shove you backwards. You’re going to encounter times out of your comfort zone. Grit your teeth and bare it – the best advice for finding ways to see what you are capable of achieving. Yes, it is cold outside. Actually, it’s downright freezing when temps dip into the single digits. The only thing colder than the weather, is a life not challenged.

Perhaps you think night running, with swirling winds, ice and blowing snow doesn’t make any sense. Maybe you think we should always be bundled up, and feeling comfortable in life. Possibly you think it’s best to avoid the confrontation, and resist such a hellish environment.

Me? I’m proud to call it home.

With Love and Respect,