Saturday, August 11, 2012

Digging Deep

Earlier this week, I had a non-running moment during which I called upon all the mental (and much of the physical) strength I've developed as a runner.  With an insufficient number of carseats, I found myself needing to make an urgent 4 mile round trip with four kids in tow.  I loaded up a stroller with the three older kids and strapped the baby into a carrier on my chest.

As we set off on the 90 degree day, I knew my task was going to be incredibly difficult.  I was pushing 100 pounds of kid plus 30 pounds of stroller while wearing a 15 pound baby on my chest.  I tried to find the least hilly route I could, but the walk to our destination was brutal and slow-moving.  My legs worked as hard as they have on hill workouts, and my arms were screaming from the effort of pushing the heavily-laden stroller.

Difficult as the first walk was, the walk home was even worse.  One mile from our house, a tire blew out on the stroller, rendering the stroller useless and forcing the three older kids to walk the rest of the way.  Tired little legs plus excessive heat equals a crabby one mile parade.

Admittedly, our walk was shorter and less hilly, but in my head, it looked and felt exactly like this.

Throughout the ordeal, I called on all my runner's mental strength.  I parceled out the trip into small, achievable intervals so that I could accomplish what I needed to.  I tried to stay optimistic, counting off the miles covered rather than the miles remaining.  Most of all, I put my head down and soldiered on.

The trip was stressful, grueling, and far from pleasant, but I was able to do it because I am a runner.  I know how to find that hidden inner strength to persevere and keep fighting when the road seems impossible.  Without those skills, I never could have overcome all the obstacles that faced us that day.  Thank you, running, for making me a stronger person - both on a run and in my daily life.