Have you ever stretched a rubber band a few times and noticed that when it returned to it’s resting position, it was more stretched than when you started? Anyone that has a regular yoga practice knows that over time, your body finds a new threshold, a new starting point from which you approach every pose. In the first few months, you find that postures are tough but over time, just like that rubber band, you set a new baseline for your body.
I ran 8 1/2 miles tonight. It was on a familiar path but one I had not run in a few weeks. I distinctly remember the last time I ran it and it was not all that pleasant. But tonight, I was flying. Why? I am convinced it’s because I have added longer distances to my weekly schedule. My 12 and 16 mile runs over the past month have helped me set a new baseline. Because I have pushed myself to run farther than I previously thought possible ( an experience that was not all too pleasant the first time) I found that when I returned to a distance that was previously challenging, it was not so challenging anymore.
Putting ourselves in position of challenge and risk takes nothing short of courage, commitment and a lot of true grit. It doesn’t mean we’ll win the race every time but I’m convinced it means we set a new threshold for ourselves and what we believe we’re able to do. If we never push ourselves outside our comfort zone, we’ll never know what we’re truly capable of.
There are three more long runs left for me over the next four weeks. Who knows the outcome of the actual race on marathon Sunday? Not me. But honestly, I don’t care what the clock says. I know that if I keep the faith and the commitment, that I will be more elastic at the finish than I was when I started. And that’s why I’m running this race.