This morning in virtual yoga class, when the teacher prompted us to set an intention for the practice the first thing that came to my mind was: endurance.
I don’t know about you, but it’s exactly what I need right now—energy and strength to continue when it’s hard.
Although I don’t run anymore, I remember what it was like to run a long distance. A 10K (6.2 miles) is the longest race I ever ran, but I did attempt to train for a marathon once and made it as far as 13 miles in one stretch.
It’s no wonder that running a marathon is a metaphor for so many life things that require energy, focus, patience—endurance.
Like with starting any project, at the beginning when it’s new, it’s easy to spring forward with a burst of energy, likely fueled mostly by excitement and adrenaline, which doesn’t last very long because it’s not sustainable. Then you settle into a manageable rhythm at a pace that you can maintain for the long haul.
The problem is, the longer the haul, the harder it gets to maintain the pace. You hit fatigue. You hit brain fog. You break for water or port-o-potty and you lose momentum. Then, of course, there are the unavoidable and unpredictable external obstacles: rain, pot-holes, snapped hair tie.
The final stretch is the hardest. You know you are almost there. You’ve covered more ground than the distance that remains, but you can’t yet see the finish line. You’ve depleted all of your energy and you’re running on empty. You can barely breathe. You’re blinded by your own sweat and yet you force your eyes to stay open. You feel as though you’ll fall over, right on the side of the road, into a sleep so deep that you won’t wake without true love’s first kiss.
Still you keep going and before you even realize, you’ve turned a corner and off in the distance the finish line comes into focus.
It happens this way every time, and even though we know the drill intellectually it doesn’t get any easier to endure emotionally or mentally.
We haven’t turned the corner yet, at least not here in California. But knowing that the corner is there, coming soon, as long as I keep moving forward, day by day, step by step. That is the thing keeping me going right now. That, and writing these weekly missives to you, my friend.
I don’t have a lot to say in the way of writing, editing, productivity, or creative living at the moment, so you might be wondering why you’re even hearing from me right now. The truth is that I’m running on empty myself, but if there is one thing I can hold on to right now it’s the power of personal storytelling. And so I had better be walking the walk by sharing my own story knowing that if it helps just one person feel less alone during these crazy times, then I’ve done my job for the day.
Here’s to enduring, my friend.
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