The Suitcase of Courage.

I have a friend who refers to doing things you really don’t want to do as “the suitcase of courage.” Usually, this is in context to athletic endeavors – and I definitely experienced that tonight.

Every Thursday, I have a speed workout. And every Thursday, I tell myself that I don’t want to go. And every Thursday, I go at the last minute, struggle through, and feel good (at least, this is how it’s been for the last couple of weeks).

Tonight, the running group was to do 1/2 mile repeats. We have a stretch of a path that is about a 1/4 mile, so we run up and back. I had to do mine six times. I felt awful. My head was hurting, my side was hurting, my shin was hurting… I was just a bag of pain. And every time I completed one, I thought, “It’s okay if I end early tonight. It’s okay that I didn’t finish the full amount. I tried.” And then I would go out and do one more.

Almost at the end of the sixth one, I had one of our pacers run with me… except he didn’t realize I still had a quarter mile to go. So I took off without him, sad that I was the very last one – but I was finishing! – and by the time I saw the finish line, there he was again, finishing up the last bit with me.

I thought the gesture was really kind. He didn’t HAVE to run with me – nor did he have to walk back with me once it started raining, but he did.

After the run, I went out for drinks with some of my running buddies. Being social still is a bit weird for me – I’m not so sure about the silences, what people are really thinking as they are talking to me, etc. But – like exercise – sometimes you need a suitcase of courage for the things that really freak you out, even in social situations.

I’m not the best at it yet, but I’m working toward it.

Have a good night, everyone. (One of these days, I’ll actually go to bed at a reasonable hour…)

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