I really enjoy country music. Living in the Mid-West it is hit or miss. Either people love it or they want nothing to do with it. My friend on the cruise was a trooper. We would listen to my music mix while we got dressed for dinner and invariably there would be a few country music songs shuffled in. Finally she asked if we could listen to some music without country. I obliged. But it was a country music song that my friend reminded me of at dinner tonight that was what I needed to get through my long run this morning. In fact he did not realize he was quoting a Rodney Atkins song.
First my run – I ran twelve miles from home. Which means the first six miles are rolling up hill. There are a few breaks, but in the end the climb is about 150 feet. The return is not much of a reprieve since it is a rolling hill course. There are still three good climbs on the way home. My first five miles were good, I was not feeling the stress until mile six. Then my hamstrings lit on fire. I had to deal with it for six more miles. I felt like I was running in the flames of hell. At dinner tonight I shared my experience with my friend and his reply was I need a mantra for this type of run based on a quote he heard “if you are going through hell, keep on going.” That is when I started hearing Rodney Atkins singing If You’re Going Through Hell. The lyrics that would have helped me push through the most are: “If you’re going through hell, keep on going, don’t slow down. If you’re scared, don’t show it.” There were times I slowed down and really wanted to quit. But I didn’t. It sure would have been more encouraging to have these words going through my mind though.
The song also goes on to say face that fire, walk right through it. Facing what we fear, what we dread, what we don’t want to face is the biggest step. If we walk right through it (or run in my case), as the song suggests, we just might get out. And I did. I was sore, but I did it and I know if I keep on doing it I will be stronger for my race. One more thing I will keep in mind. Rodney tells us there is some good news too. The song continues “But the good news is there’s angels everywhere out on the street. Holding out a hand to pull you back up on your feet.” I am not alone, that is what I believe. And if I am going to end up on my knees, it is from praying for strength to go on and not from falling down and giving up.