The Moment


Sometimes there are moments. Well, there are always moments, but sometimes there are these sort of moments. Moments that often happen in training and occasionally in a race where you decide to go or not go. Maybe it’s a few seconds on a trail run, perhaps on the approach to a tough hill, or in the midst of a series of switchbacks when you are feeling that burn and you want to pull back. You know, when the legs begin to give a bit, in the face of the extra effort. I remember a scene in a somewhat decent movie, American Flyers, where Kevin Costner’s character is showing a film of one of his races. He is showing his younger brother and points to a frozen frame of him and says ” See there, that’s when I lost” or something to that effect. It was a moment where the lead group is climbing a tough section and he decides he just can’t or won’t do what it takes. He quits without quitting. This is kinda the moment I am talking about. It’s that second where you decide whether to give that effort that is almost beyond your reach (almost), or back off and reduce the burn. It’s that moment in a race where you decide the pack you are running with is going pretty fast and you don’t want to feel that kind of pain, so you get dropped. Or maybe you have to decide to make the jump to the next group 30 metres ahead and you go for it. Often these moments are the I will or I won’t hang on, type of situations, but I have had a bunch in races where I have decided to push and reach for more. I am talking about the gear you didn’t know you had. As I struggle with regaining fitness, and today was a good example during a trail run with a friend, I kept wanting to back off and gear down. I had plenty of reasons to do so – long run yesterday, food poisoning, etc. and each time an excuse crept to the surface, my legs became heavier and I slowed. I tried not to yield to those moments because I know they are tests of where I want to go and these are the opportunities to get there. Maybe these are the moments we should look for. A window into ourselves. An opportunity to find that extra something. To make our grasp match our reach. The entire quote is ” Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp – or what’s a heaven for?” Reach further within yourself and therein lies the heaven in running. Being your best you. Push through, accelerate instead and reach forward.