What can I say…? I have way too many to count. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, definitely not egotistical but… I have a whole arsenal of advantages if we really want to dive in, to open the floodgates.
I mean seriously. I have been fortunate enough in the past decade to begin to pay attention to the food that I put into my body. So I know which foods fuel me and which foods do not. I am also fortunate enough to have access to good, organic food – either by growing it, which means I have access to land or the option to volunteer at a farm that grows it – or I have a health food store nearby that allows me to purchase whatever I desire year round.
I also have amazing inspiration to pull from. My good friends number few. By that, I am not sad or feeling unpopular. My crowd is situated around the country, living diverse and sometimes very unique lifestyles. The commonality amongst my good gal pals would be one thing. They run… Some to clear their mind… Some to clear their lungs… Some because they cannot help but to run, and to run far. They run to explore a new area or to dive deeper into the beauty of their homeland. They usually run on trails, but when trails are hard to find or hidden underneath feet of snow, they improvise. There running style is inspirational because it is not based on discipline but of freedom of movement. I impulse bought an entrance into my second trail marathon at the mere suggestion from my friend this past winter. Yes you heard me right, a winter, trail, mountain marathon, that I bought like a stick of Chap Stick at the checkout lane in the grocery store.
My third advantage. Again, unfair leads us to that slippery slope, but I do have a predisposition to run. I can’t explain it. Even when going through draught like periods where I don’t run often enough, still, every once in awhile – I need to break free. I ache to feel the synchronicity of my lungs with my legs again. To fly though the trees and empty my body of every thought that used to be pulsing through it. It started at a young age. About the age of 11, when I decided I was going to run cross-country. I liked the concept more than the sport. That seems irrelevant as it still led me to run farther and farther. I simply enjoy it, most of the time I crave it.
Plus, I drink coffee and believe strongly in enough sleep. I have a restless nature and I love to explore, I practice yoga so syncing to my breath happens quickly and I am able to stay flexible therefore for the most part injury free…. I mean…. The list could go on and on. And as I realize this, I have to wonder… Why I have not won a race yet? Why am I not the fastest person in the world? See to me these are advantages, to others maybe not. We can make each of our personality traits and preferences into a positive thing, finding the advantage.
Now, I know quite a few people think of pacer’s like they think of using a cheat sheet during an exam. It provides a bolster. And maybe it does. If for you, when running those epically long miles, having a partner helps, maybe you enjoy the distraction, the side note. Perhaps a friendly face provides motivation. Or maybe you run best when you are lost in your head for awhile, until all the thoughts stop, until the scenery stops, until nothing really gets your attention at all, your eyes soften, your breath regulates your movement and you no longer think of how much farther you have or how far you have already gone.
We all have our own advantages, our own coping mechanisms and various abilities to adapt to stress. Perhaps those things that make us unique can help propel us forward. Maybe it just depends on our attitudes.
And if you are a runner that feels like you would benefit from a pacer. Then do it. If you need one, let me know. I’ve got a fancy watch and will start training today!