Sometimes when I run, a phrase or word will come to me and will repeat over and over in my mind's ear, like a mantra or a koan. "Just keep going." "Light and quick." "F*ck cancer." All these have latched on at one time or another, in training or in a race. Yesterday I had one come that I'd never heard before. It shocked me then. It still does.
If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. If you can't crawl, then die.
I don't know where these words came from, but I think I know what they mean. Just because you can't finish according to plan, just because you don't have the strength or the stamina to fulfill your dream right now... that's no excuse to give up. If you are willing to give up on your dreams just because you can't have them the way you want them, they you have stopped dreaming, and you might as well be dead.
I might never run a full marathon in under 5 hours or qualify for Boston. I might never run a 20 minute 5K or weight 200 pounds. I might never be able to afford a beautiful house or a beautiful vacation for Mrs P. But if I let the maybes limit me, if I let the worst possibilities define me and not my best hopes and dreams, then I'm dead already.
I will not surrender to the dread of what might be.
I am a warrior. I am a victor.
I will heal. I will be well again.
I may have to crawl to get back to my life at the Y. But I will never give up on that dream. I will not let it, or myself die of fear.
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