Brain Power

BL#4: DONE!!! Let me boast: I ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 55 minutes (8.50 per mile pace)!

Preface: For worship, some people go to church every Sunday, or meditate regularly; I run. Simply put, running is my most sincere and vulnerable state of being for me.

The night before the race I was unenthusiastic, at best. I was very tired from the months of training, along with other stressors (finals, traveling, work). It wasn’t until I picked up my race packet that it hit me: I will do my best. I did. I couldn’t wish for a better time or experience. Here’s what I learned:

When I run all my emotions are amplified, so if I entertain one negative thought about myself, I will shut down completely. For instance, during my run I thought I saw my parents and started crying (pansy, I know). So needless to say, for me, my race was a whirlwind of emotions. My high school cross-country coach always told me, “your brain is stronger than any muscle in your body”. Well Coach, you’re right. I had several obstacles to overcome during my race, other than the obvious distance. First, I had to beat my douche-bag neighbor while maintaing a sense of ease, even though I was suffering. Then I had to work through iPod issues, to no resolve, while dealing with hunger, nausea and fatigue.

Throughout the entire process I had to regulate myself mentally, to keep a positive attitude. When my race was over and I thought about each “surprise” I had to overcome, and made an important connection. Running is so much like real life. Even in my most heavenly place of peace, there will always be people/things that try and make you fall. No matter how meager the issue is, one must actively try to maintain their happiness and mentally overcome any adversaries.

Here’s to showing the obstacles where to stick it,
Garrett Paul


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