There is a thing that people do, running, that has long perplexed me. I never liked the annual 3-times-around-the-block run we had to do in JHS. (They timed us.) I took Jogging in college to see if I could surmount the challenge. Finally, I tried to do that couch-to 5k thing, but settled for a little over a mile.

I believe I can’t run fast, for too long, or for too far. But recently I realized if I pretend I’m in a soccer game at the World Cup I can run a lot farther than when I’m running for just the sake of running. I was out walking in our neighborhood and got that urge to run. The legs cycle a little quicker, the arms start swinging, the feet are kicking… there’s an adrenaline rush in exercise that feels good. Sometimes. When done very rarely.

And I wonder if running isn’t like learning to play guitar for me — it takes everything you’ve got, and then THREE times that amount, before your practice shows progress. Maybe I’m inclined to give up too easily in life, but before callouses could form on my fingertips, I had already given up because I felt like if I didn’t know it already, it probably wasn’t for me.

Maybe I give up too soon?

I read a tweet the other day, “Running gets easier the more you do it. Weird.” Semi-cautiously agreed. (I should try my best Messi later this afternoon.) But if I never get to that point where I find out it’s true, I’ll remain the not-so-good runner.

In life, I’m running, too. And it’s a winding path, through the forest, on the desert, and across town. But I’m constantly saying, I’m not cut out for this, I lack the endurance, I lack the stamina, I lack the athleticism. In other words, I’ll never be better, there’s no hope.

Maybe life is like learning to play guitar. It takes everything. And then some.

Then some more.

And then some more.


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