A few weeks ago I participated in a 5K fun run/walk. There were about 15,000 people at the event in celebration of health and wellness. At the command of "Go!", there was a mass migration forward and the runners took off. Some fast, some slow, but all forward.
At the first mile, I was feeling good and running an 8:50 mile. A bit faster than I wanted, but I felt good.
Around mile 2, the slight hills started to feel steep and the first pangs of pain began. A parade of "why am I doing this?" thoughts began. The blunt syringe needle stabbing my thighs senesation started. At that moment, I recalled that every other runner on the course, from the elite to the novice, was also feeling the same pain.
What separates those who finish with pride from those that feel disappointed? Those that push through the pain are the winners. Everyone was feeling it. The discriminator was those with the mental toughness to see it through. That was success. I wanted to be one who pushed through, not one that succumbed. Once that thought crossed my mind, the pain disolved for a few minutes. In a race lasting 26 minutes, a few minutes is huge.
As we go through life, we often forget that everyone experieces pain, in whatever form. The reality is, we all do. The reality is, we don't all handle it the same way. The winners recognize the differentiator between themselves and the loosers is how they handle the pain. Push through or succumb. I chose to push through.