“We all have dreams. In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort.” – Jesse Owens
Early Saturday morning, my head was full of doubt.
It was dark. A dreaded minus sign illuminated on the blue digital thermometer reading of my SUV. Making matters worse, the guy on the radio was carrying on about the 20-below zero windchill.
So what were my immediate plans?
To scurry across town to join the Faster Stronger Runner group and run 14 miles outdoors. Usually, I have a strong aversion to running in the cold, especially when I can spend hours circling an indoor track to log laps until I reach my mileage goal.
On this occasion, I’d been lucky to receive an invite from a friend as an FSR guest. Before the run, a friend introduces me, and then there’s a talk about running shoes before the group takes to the arctic streets. The FSR group is filled with amazingly talented, generous and smart people — many who are veteran runners willing share their wisdom and encouragement with fledgling marathoners and half marathoners.
It’s fitting, in the unscripted talk in front of the group, that I share a truth about this blog — it started as a diary to keep me accountable to my goal of running a marathon. Along the way, it served as a springboard to meet terrific people within the running community.
Even on this day, with frigid conditions, running with friends provides an accountability to keep pushing toward a goal.
As we spill into the street, and head out for the first of two 7-mile loops, my mind flashes back to those earlier doubts. After adjusting all the layers, and settling into a pace, the conversations begin flowing. As the miles pass, good company makes the time appear to go by faster. The run becomes easier and easier.
There will be days in which it will be easy to doubt your tenacity and toughness. But after mornings like these — months before race day — you learn something about yourself. Once again, you prove all you need to know about yourself.