When you train for a race, you do it for a lot of reasons: the crowds, the energy, the challenge, the finish line, the medal. For every race that I have run, I have been lucky enough to have at least one member of my Anonymous Beloved Cheering Squad on the course to cheer me on and waiting at the finish line to share in my joy. Race days are special, they are like my personal princess-for-a-day holidays; training days, however, are often times a different story.
We all have struggles, things in our lives - sometimes minor and sometimes earth shattering - that attempt to bulldoze us off of our path, knock us out of our comfortable chair, and turn our lives pear-shaped. What jars some people doesn't even phase others and sometimes, what seems petty to us in other people's lives can leave us breathing in a paper bag when we are presented with it in our own. Training days are the ones where struggles seem ginormous, where we doubt whether or not we have what it takes to keep going, where sometimes just putting one foot in front of the other is a success. There are no finish lines on training days and many times the people who will ultimately be there to support us are the first ones to point out our short-comings. Training days can be discouraging.
As I diligently mounted the treadmill and trotted through my warm-up, I could not help but to let my mind settle on one of my Anonymous Beloveds and the rough string of training days she's been having recently. Today, each interval seemed to be just a bit more difficult than the last and my AB's story hung just a little more heavily around my shoulders. We have had our share of turmoil; done things, knowingly or not, that has left the other burned and broken; and we have supported each other at times when it seemed no one else could or would. It was with each thought of her story, my story, and ours together that my resolve to see the weighty run through with strength, courage, and serenity so that I can help her do the same.
Today, as my mind carried her and my heart tried to comfort her, it occurred to me that maybe training runs aren't just necessary for race day, they are necessary in order to make it through the next training day or to help an AB through theirs.