Counting the Pain

March 14, 2024

Recently I participated in a 5K Race in Memphis, TN. A 5-kilometer race is only a tad over 3 miles, but I am not a runner. I do not possess a runner’s body and am much more suited to short bursts than long distance anything! The fact that I even entered was optimistic coming off an Idaho winter season that only included daily time on an elliptical trainer. But I committed to run, so run I did … If one could call that running! My goal was simply to finish with less than 15-minute miles as I am not even supposed to run on hard surfaces to preserve my reconstructed knee.

The race was a very flat course except for the AW Willis Avenue bridge at the beginning. The bridge is not a very imposing structure and doesn’t look like much of a rise, so I took it in stride and climbed it pretty easily during the early stage of the race. After the bridge it was flat and a pretty easy run. After the halfway turn around aid station, I headed out again with pretty high optimism that I was crushing my time and picked up the pace. Then, I saw it. The bridge had grown in height to at least 20 times and the sight of it was demoralizing! My pace slowed considerably … I did not want to run up that bridge … I did not want to race anymore. My negative visions started owning me. I had to find resolve and a method to use that would help me finish. I remembered Brock.

Brock is the youngest of four brothers and my grandson. While training with him for football season to start, I kept adding repetitions to him on a rowing machine. One hundred turned into three hundred and even more. When he finished he was smiling and I asked him how he got through it with a smile on his face. “I just kept counting Grandpa”, he said. Brock inspired me and, in a moment, I began to think about counting the steps to the halfway point on the bridge.

I counted as I ran and quit thinking about the hill and focused on the next stride. Soon, while exhausted, I was over the bridge. I walked for a spell to catch my breath but eventually picked up the pace to finish as strong as a broken-down Grandpa was able. I beat my time by a smidge, but I counted and thanks Brock for keeping me on task!

March 3, 2024

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One Response

  1. I love that you used Brock as an inspiration for your run! We all need to be inspired by someone! Keep counting, Jim.

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