The limits of determination, patience and good will

26 November 2016


Learning to run long distance is a long process. It’s unlikely that one runs a marathon out of nowhere and without a minimum of preparation. Of course there are exceptions. But most of the people I know started with short runs and slowly increased the distance.
Body and mind don’t necessarily like it at first — soar muscles, hurting knees, difficulty to breathe, boredom. Getting to the other side of the barrier requires patience, motivation and determination. And when that happens, when the happy kid finally gets on the other side, the body has learnt its lesson and gotten used to milage. It doesn’t hurt anymore. The mind has learnt its lesson too — it’s capable of enjoying minutes, hours, alone, meditating, surpassing, enjoying, suffering.

I will never be grateful enough for pushing myself and for getting to the point where I have to talk myself out of a run (I could really do it on a daily basis). I have tried to run alone, for three hours in a row, several times — these were my best runs. Also, sometimes you get to run along other people and I must admit that being part of a running crew (and meeting wonderful people) played a big part.

My point is, should you want to achieve a goal, it only takes patience and good will. The body will follow. It will learn its lesson, it will get used to the road.

And it applies to other fronts of life which can matter to one. There’s work/studies. Some exceptional people just know how to do it right away — how lucky! I never got to be one of these smart asses. I’ve always needed more time. I guess this is where I got my determination from. I never gave up — eventually I got into France’s best university of Economics and Management when my 1st class teacher said I would never succeed (and should consult a psychiatrist — I was 6 years old).

Eventually I learnt the tricks of my first job, when my boss started loosing patience. In the end, he didn’t want me to leave his team, when time had come for me to go to new horizons.

Then there are relationships. Oh boy, the human being is such a weird animal when it comes to feelings! Forget everything I just wrote about determination, motivation, good will. Somehow it just doesn’t work that way and one can repeat the same mistake a million times. Tears rolling down these cheeks, a sensation of burning stomach, a mind which refuses to let go — on repeat. And yet, one refuses to learn from it and casts him/herself down the next cliff he/she finds. How do you think the landing feels when the body touches the ground?

More importantly, why is it so impossible to learn that lesson?


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