I’m currently sitting in my home praying that the snow melts so I can take my final tomorrow and go back to my home-home.
Contrary to popular belief, home is not where the heart is. Home is where mom is.
In other words, I’m kinda stuck at school and there is nothing to do. So I figured, eh, might as well try to reflect on the past couple of weeks. And that’s what you’re reading right now.
Aside from being physically stuck in Monmouth, I’m also kinda stuck in a creative standpoint. You see, my friends, what I want to talk about this week is something running related.
I am aware of the fact that it’s a boring topic to most people. At the same time, though, I wanna go ahead and just talk about it because I think there is an important lesson along the way.
What I’m trying to say is, if you can bare with me for like 2 minutes while I have myself a little runnergasm, I think there is something you’ll be able to take away from today’s post.
I haven’t really figured out how to do that yet, but hopefully as I type it will come to me. (Not like I have much of a choice as far as activities today anyway, it’s either this or clean the house and I really don’t feel like cleaning the house, so story time it is!)
Each year the Western Oregon Track Team has a race the week before finals called “The Nutcracker 800.” It’s really just a glorified time trial amongst ourselves, but it’s cool because it does two things: one, it marks the end of cross country season and beginning of track, and two, BRAGGING RIGHTS ASF.
Essentially, the men’s and women’s teams get together and race two laps of the track. The winner gets a pat on the back and the unalienable right to talk shit to the rest of the team. So, you may be wondering, “Krato, why are you telling me all of this? I frankly don’t give a shit!”
Why thank you, fictional question-asking person, I appreciate the honesty. Allow me to respond as best as I can.
This race was really important to me because it marked the first time in 566 days since I last raced. 566 days. 5-6-6. That’s a fuck-ton of time. That is SO long. Think about how different your life was 566 days ago. Holy balls, that’s a long time.
And you may find yourself thinking once again, “Okay so why would you be looking forward to running your ass off? How is that fun/what’s your point with all of this?”
Again, good point my question-asking friend. All I’m trying to say is, take whatever your biggest passion in life and try not being able to do that thing, whatever it may be, for 566 days. That’s a long ass time. Now, yes, we can sit here all day and argue that I’m weird for having a two lap race as my passion but that’s a topic for a different day.
Today I’m just here to say, I hadn’t raced in 566 days, and then the Nutcracker came. And woah, my life changed. Okay, perhaps not that dramatic, but it was a pretty big moment nonetheless.
“Why was it so important to you, Krato?”
So many good questions today, lil buddy! Well, it was such a big deal to me because last year (in terms of running) was absolute shit. I was injured all year round and it was just an overall bad time. If it had kept going into this year, I would have strongly considered quitting the sport.
“I think I know where you’re going with this, Krato!!!”
That’s great, but shhh for a second and let me finish.
Not running kills me. I don’t know why it does, it just does. I need to run. It’s the one thing I don’t get tired of. I could do it all day, and I could talk about it all day. Last year, for the first time in my short career, I faced the biggest obstacle any runner could probably face: the impending doubt of whether or not you’ll be able to continue running.
My body was giving up on me. At freaking 19 years old! I tried time and time again to overcome the injuries, but my body would just not have it.
Imagine that, imagine that at 19 years old you’re faced with the possibility of letting go of your life’s passion.
It was one of the most defeating feelings I’ve ever felt.
But I persevered, and that’s really what I want to talk about today. Perseverance, patience, perhaps even a little stubbornness.
There will be a point in our lives, and yes, it will happen to all of us, when things will not go our way.
But it really does not matter how many times you get knocked down as long as the number of times you get back up is one greater. That’s all you need, just one more time of saying, “Fuck it, let’s give it another shot.”
Countless physical therapy appointments and “fuck it’s” later, I got back to doing what I love. Knowing that I had finally dug myself out of that shit-hole that was the 2015-2016 season was perhaps a better feeling than running itself.
It was just so liberating.
Now I gotta admit, in the grand scheme of things, if this ends up being the worst instance in my life where things really don’t go the way I had planned (unlikely), it will be smooth sailing for me the rest of the way.
But nonetheless, this experience taught me such a valuable lesson; a lesson that I hope to continue to live by, and that I hope that you, if you happen to be going through a period of struggle, will take to heart.
Patience works. It’s kind of a bitch sometimes, but it works.
I’m really not good enough at writing to transmit just how important I think this concept is. I just hope that whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever situation you are in, you will never settle to be a product of the environment around you, but that you will always strive to become more like the image that we all have of our ideal self.
Setbacks happen, but they cannot stop a vision.
Whatever it is that you want to achieve, I encourage you to go after it. And if you have been trying to achieve it for a while with little success, I encourage you to keep trying. You will never know which attempt will be “the one” until it happens, so persevere and do not allow yourself to live with the regret of “what if I had given it just one more shot.”
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams
That’s what I learned this week, and that’s what I’ll leave you with for now.