"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian
My friend and I went for a run in the beginning of my sophomore year. I was left behind because I stopped for breaks every few minutes. As I was stopping for a break, her back became further and further away from me. After several breaks, she disappeared from on of the street corner. I was so upset on myself that I could not run continuously and as fast as she run. At that moment, my thought toward running was the strongest in my life.
I want to run faster and longer.
I started running in small distance on the track in the mornings, as to build up my capability in running longer. One time, I decided to challenge myself on running longer than I used to, eight lamps (400mX8). My body started enticing me to stop for breaks after exceeding the distance I have in the past few days.
My Body said: “You should stop! You legs are sore.”
My Mind said: “No! Keeping running! You can do it.”
“Five lamps exceed your record from yesterday. It is enough.”
“Your goal has only three more lamps to accomplish!”
Physically, the sourness of my legs was signaling me to stop; mentally, I did not want to give up without trying. It was a time of my internal complex that imposing me to make a decision. I started seeking marks around that track that I could target on, as putting aside the messages inside my mind. The lampstands around the track became my small targets. I ran toward the lampstand in front of me, like I could only see the distance between the lampstand and me. Meanwhile, I constantly reminded myself that I was not far in achieving my goal, as I was passing by one lampstand and running toward the second one.
I forgot how long I had ran and how many times I had passed a lampstand. My legs became less sored and my body felt so light that I felt like I was running with the air. I looked up to the trees around the track, the light from a morning sun penetrated through the trees and shined on me. I felt so free happy as my legs were moving forward.
From running, I learned that the biggest enemy was myself when facing challenges. I competed with myself in against the weak wills. My attitudes and wills were keys in motivated me in running. Running made me recognize that if I go though myself, the challenges would weaker as my attitude of persistence continues.
Now, running became an important part of my life because a feeling of unknown happiness arise every after running. I enjoy running on the track because running makes me be conscious about what I am pursuing. Running builds my skills on persistence. I see myself a stronger person from running.
Photo: taken at Smith College Track on Nov 2012.