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Blog / News

BLOG: Exploration

patrick harkins

I got the best text from a friend the other day. It was pretty simple:

"I DID IT!!"

We always talk about how texting removes the nuance from human communication, but in this instance there was no need for nuance. The emotion came right through the phone.

The back story is this: she was always a runner-and a good one. Strong and tough. But she had had a couple of knee surgeries and some other injuries. She could still go forever, but she had become convinced that she wasn't what she once was. That the surgeries and the injuries had robbed her of her speed. That she wasn't who she used to be. Less, somehow.

She still loved to run, but had resigned herself to the idea that she needed to get used to what she could do now. She was happy just to be able to get out the door and go, to not be stuck on the couch. I didn't blame her-she had spent a lot of time coming back from all the setbacks, and there was fear that if she really pushed, it might happen again. But, more than that, there was fear that, if she went out and really found out what she could still do, that she would know for sure that it was less. She would know for certain that she had been reduced. Better not to know, right?

I knew she was wrong and tried to convince her of it, but we all know that these types of questions have to be answered personally and out on the road. So...she did the courageous thing. She set out to find her borders.  Mile repeats. Even if she was slower than before, she wanted to set a marker and see if she could use that as  a place from which to mark progress.  Even so, she made the usual noises about low expectations, just going out for a workout; etc...we've all heard it before.

You can probably guess the end. The speed was still there and I got the happy text.  It turns out that the things she thought she couldn't do anymore were just things she hadn't done in a long time. She surprised herself.

I was reminded of a quote that I saw a while ago. Chrissie Wellington:

"...our limits may not be where we think they are.  And, even when we think that we've finally reached them, the next time we go there exploring we often find they've moved again."

Go exploring. You may surprise yourself.