Have you all read Marshall Ulrich’s book Running on Empty? It describes his 3000+ mile run across the United States (averaging 60 miles a day) and the journey’s impact on him physically, psychologically, and spiritually. I downloaded it for the plane ride home yesterday and I didn’t stop reading until Eliot pulled up in the car outside of baggage claim. Here are the lines I highlighted:
“Somebody once said that adversity doesn’t build character, it reveals it, and that’s certainly been true for me, for better and worse.”
Speaking of Ted Corbitt: “He stood for a kind of sportsmanship that seemed to be waning, one marked by ethics, doing what you say you’ll do, and setting an example for the up-and-comers.”
“After years and years of thinking about it, I believe that such suffering offers a unique gift, allowing me to profoundly appreciate living, to pay attention to little things, like the comfort of sitting in a chair or enjoying a meal on a plate with a fork and a spoon.”
“Surrender — an acceptance of the fate you’ve chosen — provides you with the ability to endure more suffering, and the more times you do it, the higher the pain threshold rises and the more finely tuned your ability to endure becomes.”
“In the darkest times, no amount of schmaltzy platitudes will get you through it. When it counts, when you have to pull through, what you need is grit. You wrestle that bear to the ground, chasing it out of your psyche. You remind yourself that it’s easy to quit but hard to live with it afterward — it can turn into a virus that spreads and becomes an uncontrollable urge.”
On that note, I’ve got a core workout and some lunges to complete. My biggest challenge is sticking to my training schedule at the end of a long hot summer day — well, at the end of most days. That virus analogy resonates.