If I close my eyes, I can see myself at the end of our driveway.
It is just before dusk. We are stretching our legs, getting ready. The sky is tinged with pink as the sun sinks behind the trees. The air is still. As we turn east to jog down the hill I can hear the gravel as it kicks up from behind our shoes. I keep my eyes on the row of pines that line the road: majestic, fencing in the woods.
After about a quarter of a mile, for a few moments, we can see Lake Chautauqua stretching out in both directions, deep blue water surrounded by leafy green. As we descend the hill, it will disappear from our view.
The downhill should be easy, but it’s not. The hill is steep, and we have to hold back.
When we reach the bottom and turn around, I want to stop and walk the uphill. The grade is about 15%, and I have to summon all my strength to keep a steady jog back up. Within moments, my husband runs ahead and I all can hear is the sound of my own panting and the gravel, still grinding underfoot.
This run of ours, the evening challenge, as we like to call it, is only two miles, so it is over quickly. Wiping the sweat from our brows, we walk again to the crest of the hill to cool down, catch our breath, see the lake. The view is a great reward.
It has been years since I ran that route but if I close my eyes, I can see myself at the end of our driveway. Dusk is settling into the hills. I can feel cool air sneaking in with the darkness. The run is complete.
Whenever I face a difficult task, I remember the hill. I remember that even through the pain, the run was worth it. Mostly, I remember the satisfaction and good feeling that comes from pushing through even— especially — when something is hard.
This post originally appeared at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is used here with permission.
I had hoped for time to write something new for this space. I will soon. I chose to repost this today for a few reasons:
- It’s one of my favorite posts ever from LeaderTalk.
- I have been away from running for several months. I want to run again. Reading about the joy I once found in running motivates me to get my shoes out.
- The next few days will be very busy and very exciting for me and the team I work with at the Kevin Eikenberry Group. The pace of our days will require perseverance. It will be worth it.
I hope you will come back tomorrow when I will be posting more about From Bud to Boss. I want to make sure you know about how to access all the great bonuses we are offering to people who buy the book on Tuesday, launch day.