Let’s face it, we all face challenges, it is part of day to day life. Sometimes people cower with their tail tucked between their legs while others attack challenges with super problem solving skills. Sometimes those challenges win, sometimes we defeat them or accept them, but no matter what we do we will always face new challenges.
Earlier today I was thinking about how runners confront challenges. Despite pain, runners continue running (well, usually). Despite blisters, chafing, sore muscles, etc. runners continue running. Some people might think runners are crazy for doing so, wonder why, but may brush it off that runners are just plain crazy! I was realizing that when runners run through pain they strengthen a sort of “muscle” that isn’t the quad, hamstring, or calf, but rather strengthening determination. I think that determination is the key factor to any challenge even if you’re accepting that it is here to stay.
Acceptance may seem “passive” but I actually think acceptance takes determination too. That little voice might be yelling at you, but sometimes with determination you need to be willing to accept it is how it is and nothing can change it but what needs to change is your attitude or feelings. If you’re accepting a situation with attitude that isn’t really accepting. Think about the “humble warrior” position in yoga. I think that name and pose perfectly describes acceptance, a state in which we are both comfortable yet engaged. So yes sometimes to accept takes determination.
Runners tend to be determined to reach a goal. When challenges arrive they tend to evaluate the situation to find the best way to reach their goal. Running an event like the half marathon I’m training for once was a, “psshhh I could never do that” to a “maybe someday” to a “I am going to run a half marathon.” It took me a while to get there, but the moment I said that “I am going to” changed that level of determination in me. So in order for me to cross injury free means that I need to train. In order to train I had to do enough research to devise the best plan for me and my goals. I have hit challenges already with my training: IT band injury, sinus infection, blisters, severe “underboob” chafing, busy schedules, thunderstorms, and 90 degree days with 97% humidity! Believe me, it hasn’t been easy, but I am determined to cross that finish line (injury free)!
It makes me think that if people are facing challenges or wanting to strengthen that “determination muscle” running (or walking) might be the perfect thing. I know people who have walked 5ks and it means just as much to them as it does for someone who runs them in 15 minutes. The fact that we have challenges are universal, but the challenges themselves are not universal. So find whatever it is that will help you build that “determination muscle” so that you can find yourself more ready to face life’s challenges.