Middle of the night. 8 miles in to a 12-mile training run that wasn’t going well. Foot sore, out of breath, well behind pace, and angry at my inability to hit my goals.
Funny how the brain works: I had spent some time watching TV with my family before I went out to run, and my brain decided to bring up a quote from the show.
I realized that this was exactly what I was doing, lighting the fire to forge who I want to become. I broke a slight smile and picked up the pace for the rest of my run.
None of us are born in the final form we want to become. It doesn’t mean we can’t get there. It just means that there is a process that we must go through, much like the process of making iron ore into a fine sword.
Life often provides the spark to get us going, but too many let the spark go out before it can catch. You have to tend the fire and keep it burning, however that works for you. Finding friends who push you to be better, vowing to never miss Monday training, writing your experiences along the way, whatever. As long as it keeps the fire inside you going and eager to burn hotter, do it!
With the fire of determination burning hot, hammer away at your training. Every lap, every rep is another blow shaping who you are becoming. Don’t get bogged down on the fact that you are not what you want to be yet. Keep hammering, keep shaping yourself. It takes dedication, and it takes time.
Keep grinding through your workouts and polishing your skills. Keep honing, testing, if needed reshaping yourself to be better-suited to what you want to do.
You will likely never consider yourself completely done, and that is good. If you’re done you stop, and nothing new happens. When you stop working on being better, it is all too easy to fall into rust and disrepair.
If keeping going requires starting a new fire and re-forging yourself entirely, go for it. It is the greatest privilege in the world to light the flame and forge your future.
Post script: I had another epiphany on a run that I realized deserves to be here.
My current training plan calls for a lot of long slow miles, which can get tedious as all hell. But it is not about how powerful the hammer blows or how quickly you can knock them out. What matters is the quality of what you are building. I am putting out rather pathetically slow miles, but along the way I am building a body that can go further and faster, and a spirit that can push through the difficulties.