“It is not how hard you can hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” This is one of my favorite quotes, and it seems to fit my training well up to this point. As soon as I start to see a little progress, life hits me and knocks me down. But I do not stay down long. I pick myself up and continue with my training and refuse to make excuses.
I am still struggling to find enough time in the day to get everything accomplished I need to. My running has been consistent for the most part, but I am realizing it is difficult to find those extra few hours I need for a long run. My endurance is not where it should be at right now. When I find myself struggling, I tend to reflect back on my life and remember what was preached to me growing up.
I recall when I was a kid my father would wake up my two older brothers and myself at 5 a.m. We were required to run around three miles and do circuit training after the run. At the time, I felt like this was torture. I was only in the third or fourth grade, and I was being woken up at 5 a.m. to work out. Looking back at those childhood memories, I realize that my dad was teaching my brothers and I a lesson at an early age. In order to be successful in sports or life, you have to be willing to put in the work, regardless of how you feel.
Being the younger brother, I always felt I had to compete with my older brothers, “Scooter” and Jake. They were both standout athletes. I not only wanted to be good like them, I wanted to be better. I do not know if I ever accomplished that, but I know it taught me how to have a hard work ethic and be dedicated. They taught me toughness and never took it easy on me when it came to sports. In a way, my father and two brothers have shaped me into the runner I am today. They strived to be the best, and I always mimicked them.
Right now, more than ever, I need to apply those characteristics to my training. I need to remain tough and dedicated to my plan. Mill Race marathon is right around the corner, and right now is not the time to slack off. Each day, I must continue to push myself as if my father is watching me or if my two brothers are competing against me. If I keep that mindset, I am sure to be stay along the right path.
Luke Inman finished fourth in the men’s division of the Mill Race Marathon last year. He is writing a biweekly diary from the perspective of an experienced runner. He can be reached at email@example.com.