I hate running. I always have and I always will. If you were to ask me what I hated most about my time in the military, I would answer running. I run regularly because it’s a good cardiovascular workout, it seems to help me keep my wind while I’m on the mat and it’s great for keeping my body weight in check. But make no mistake about it; I hate every step I take when I am running. In fact, I will actually have arguments will myself, to run or not to run, while I am on my way to the track.
So this past Monday as I was on my way to the track, my mind went through the usual reasons not to run: my back was really stiff, my knees were aching, I didn’t sleep well the previous night, it was kind of over cast and the breeze was rather chilly, blah, blah, blah. But I kept heading towards the track. As I pulled in to the lot, parked my truck and thought about just how much I hate running and that maybe I’ll keep the run short today I saw something that changed my whole perspective.
As I sat there in my truck, I saw something that made me realize just how lucky I am and that I will vividly remember every time I head out on a run. I saw a woman, perhaps in her late 30’s, run past me. She did not have the physique of a well conditioned athlete nor did she keep a blazing pace as she circled the track. But this was no ordinary woman, at that moment she appeared almost superhuman to me. What was it that was so extraordinary about this particular woman? She was a quadruple amputee and she carried herself around that track on running blade prosthetic legs. Slowly she churned out her laps around the track, never slowing and never stopping. I watched her make a complete lap and when she past by me the second time I knew I had nothing to complain about.
There is a Professional World Champion Kickboxer named Baxter Humby who is known for regularly saying “The only limits in life, are the ones you set for yourself.” He is absolutely right…..because Baxter holds multiple World Title Belts despite having only one arm. Often we excuse ourselves from training regularly because we are sore, tired or just generally unmotivated. But this past Monday I realized I didn’t a single legitimate reason not to get out there and run. I actually thought about how I would feel if that remarkable woman knew I came to the track to run but left just because I didn’t feel like doing it that day.
I got my run in that day and it was a good, hard run. On one level, I really wish I could have thanked that woman for the lesson on perspective she unknowingly provided to me, but sometimes it’s best to take the lesson and turn it into actions rather than just words. I still hate running, but now I realize I don’t have any real excuses not to run.
Instructor William Green
Elite Training Center
1628 South Pacific Coast Highway,
Redondo Beach, CA 90277