My thought pattern went like this:
- "Ugh..Its so hot out." (82' and humid)
- "You only have to run 10 miles and it isn't a fast pace."
- "You need to be running in the heat, you need to get used to it."
- "You would get a more comfortable run if you hit the gym."
- "Count the suffering a blessing, it will make you stronger."
I was less than 3 miles in and the sweat was dripping. My legs felt like they were chugging through mud. They were sloppy and thick feeling.
I decided not to focus on my pace, not to even look at my Garmin. Rather than focusing on my pace I let my body talk to me. I knew I didn't want to get my heart rate up to high that I expended too much energy. I also knew I didn't want to sweat to bad and get dehydrated, dizzy or ditch my running plan all together.
COUNT the SUFFERING a BLESSING
Like we have thought of our suffering as a blessing?!
With 5 miles in, I was heading back towards home. Different thoughts circulated in my mind. Little concerns surfaced, making me question myself and what I am capable of. I was miserable.
It was at the peak of this miserable state that I had an epiphany!
I knew I needed this miserable run to make me stronger. I knew I had to "embrace the suck" as I say.
I have to be aware of the elements that want to defeat me. The heat, the humidity, the sweat, the voices, the warm water left in my container, my eyes stinging, my calf wanting to cramp and the many other facets that created this elevated suffering I had to endure.
I began to think of how this thought interacts with LIFE. Embrace suffering? Invite suffering? We are not masochists.
However, life as we know it is well decorated in trials that cause us much pain. Ask yourself "How do you get through it?
"Do you avoid it?"
"Do you find an easy route out?"
Today, Austin asked me what the "DT's" are.
"Well son, it is when your mom drinks a case of beer every day. Then one day runs out of money, out of help and out of options, she then goes through withdrawals. This is where you watch your mother talking to people that are not there, this is where she is screaming at you and throwing up at the same time. This is where she is shaking uncontrollably and having seizures. I watched my mother have convulsions so bad she would have blood coming out of both her ears and nose... This is suffering.
I learned suffering very young.
I am at the age now where my friends are losing grandparents and even parents. I am broken for them. I feel their pain, I hurt for them.
This suffering at a young age sharpened me and prepared me for others. Like running in the heat, it is miserable, but it gets a little better the more I go through it.
I know roughly what it will be feel like, how bad it will hurt, how long...I know I will get through it even though I will want to give up. I know enough to even help others in their suffering.
But one thing is for sure, You have to go through it. And sometimes it hurts like HELL.