“More hardships await in case of success.” Bill Plotkin
I really like the Plotkin quote. For some reason, we look at other people’s success and think that now that they have “arrived” they no longer face hardships. When in fact the reality is that often success and hardship go hand-in-hand.
I am struck by how my sisters and brothers in running model this reality. In life and in running, success is a product of much hardship along the way. No matter if it is a 5K or a 100-mile race, you see people work hard, experience the hardships and the pain along the way, and yet keep doing it. Often times their success at one level tempts them to increase their mileage moving up to ½ marathons, then marathons, and some 100-mile runs. Each level more pain inducing then the prior one. Yet they persist and the hardships keep coming.
Many, however, never get to the proverbial “starting line.” Fear keeps them away. Yet our fears can be transforming if we are willing to face them. To reach a worthwhile goal, you have to bare afflictions and fears along the way. I have learned that the loftier goals I want to reach, the more afflictions I must bare. In an ultra race when you get closer to the finish line (or in my case this week closer to Cincinnati), a place of great joy, the pain increases. I translate this to mean – pain and suffering precedes great joy.
Today was perhaps my toughest day on the trail. The pain clearly increased. We, my riding partners and I, did 36 miles in 90-plus degree heat with miles of wide-open Ohio farmland (meaning little shade). Kathy did 32 of these miles with me. Anna joined me today for the rest of the week and did 10 miles total with Jerry joining for some miles as well (we did some together). I am so appreciative of the support I am receiving on the trail.
These next two days are on some of the most beautiful parts of this run, along the Little Miami River trail. Generally, my body is in good shape (in an almost 200-mile kind of way). Other than a small blister forming on the bottom of my foot, I don’t have any injuries and my legs are feeling pretty good. I understand, however, hardships could await in the morning, even just a mile down the trail. All of which keeps me in the moment and full of adrenalin that helps propel me down the trail.