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Courage

By Brien Crothers, Lake County Miler

Thank you Brien for sharing his November thoughts...

Moments When...

Splashes of red here, gold there, dried leaves

twisting in knots and dancing across the roadway

before me say one thing: fall has finally arrived,

winter is coming. It is—suddenly—time to dig out

those extra layers. Time to brace ourselves to cool

weather. This time of year, my weekly mileage is

typically lower, and this year . . .  slower.

I bemoan this last fact. However, during those

slow miles, I have more time to enjoy the fall

colors as I trudge up a hill or plod across a long

flat. Even then I find moments when all is good

and right in my world. I’ve never been one to

experience that euphoric “runner’s high.” Maybe I

simply misinterpret other people’s definition or

description of the term. I have never felt high

when running. But I have often found a

peacefulness and stretches of time that seem to

float by effortlessly and as sweet as if propelled

by God’s own hand.

Some days are like that, having found that sweet

spot, humming along the day’s planned route.

Others, well, not so much. Sometimes it seems

there is more pain than there is potential gain in

the whole wide world. Those days, too, lead to better things. Maybe it comes tomorrow, perhaps next week. The payoff is there, I promise. Layering up, stepping out into the cold and the rain (hopefully it will rain one day soon), warming up tight, complaining muscles, and seeking that perfect harmony takes courage.

“Why do the easy expected thing? It takes guts to follow your dreams. Courage. Many people, even those who love you, don’t understand how compelling that can be, and will try to keep you in the ‘safety zone’. But f*! that. Half the fun is venturing into the unknown, taking on the difficult task that yields new knowledge, doing more and testing your limits.” Marshall Ulrich, Team Stray Dogs – Eco-Challenge Fiji 2019 (and a gazillion other adventures)

Like Marshall, some people have figured out how to stay motivated, how to muster up the courage to brave the cold and get out there chasing knots of brown, red, and yellow leaves as they twist their way ahead, clearing our path. If you have a proven method to herd you out the door and into the chill dawn air, share it with others. If you have not, ask around, it’s worth exploring new methods to find your courage. 

2020 has been and odd one, to say the least. We will get back to those Zen moments when the sky, trees, blades of grass, even the path before us and the muscles in our legs are in harmony, buzzing at the same beautiful frequency. I seek that moment in every workout and hope that it will last and last. I also look forward to running with friends, each of us sharing how we managed to plow our way through this year and unearthed the courage to brave the challenges ahead.

Gotta run,

BrienC

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