This was written in June and posted elsewhere… I’m reposting it here as I reference it in my other post Running.
Five years ago I planned to run in the Dead Sea Marathon. I trained and trained and trained to do the relay. I could run up to 8 KM at a stretch without getting tired. But could I do the full haul? It’s funny what you can train yourself to endure; the aches, the pains, the physical and mental stresses that are necessary to achieve a goal.
You can train for something and be completely ready for it, but fate throws a wrench in your plans and you never realize your goal. Other times you are caught completely unaware and off guard, with no training, no experience and you are asked to perform. I think in both situations you are being tested. A different set of tests, with different skill sets required. Training requires discipline, dedication, goal setting, evaluation and assessment and of course patience and endurance among other skills.
When something is thrown at you out of the blue do you need the same skills? Maybe some of them, but I think others are required too: flexibility, openness to new ideas, patience, evaluation and of course endurance. I think that in new situations it’s important to remain open to the new experience, and learn and grow from it. But it is equally important to evaluate yourself within this new context and assess whether you have what it takes or not. Whether it’s worth the long haul and if you can endure the stresses needed to reach the goal. If not ask for help, if that doesn’t work cut your losses and move on. You will have, at least, learned what you can and can’t do.
In both cases you need endurance. To endure, is to persist, to accept and tolerate the long path, to suffer even. But to what end, I ask you? Does the end justify the endurance? What if you can’t see the end and the goal is unclear do you continue down the path? How do you decide to make it to the finish line or not?
I never found out if I could endure the race, I traveled that year for about two months and missed the Marathon. I haven’t gone back to training since.