Strong is one of those words that can be associated with many things. A strong cocktail, a strong tasting coffee, a strong chemical smell of a cleaner, or a strong towel that holds up to tug of war with your chocolate lab. Strong can also be associated with a state of mind, mentally and or emotionally. Lastly, strong can be associated with how physically strong a person is or can be. As I did my shakeout run yesterday (Sunday), I was thinking about how many times in my life I have been told that I am strong. Just this past Saturday, two days ago, my massage therapist told me my body was strong, and that he thinks I am definitely strong enough to tackle this marathon on June 17th. It made me think of all the times my running buddies have shared with me how strong I look on any given run they have seen me on lately. My thoughts navigated to when my running coach ran past me on the trails just a few weeks ago, and said the same thing about how I looked 10 miles into a 16 mile run. My thoughts then jumped through time to when my mom passed away, 24 years ago, on June 3, 1993, and how my friends and family told me to be strong for my brother, and my family that still remained. My mom would want me to be strong.
Strong is something that I feel is relative. Relative to the time and space you are in. The mental state and the emotional balance within you dictates how “strong” your character and mindset are at a given time. The work you have put into your workouts: runs, strength training, yoga, etc. can determine how strong your body is. Strong can be something you push past when your brain wants you to give up. It can be the point just before a breaking point for a muscle. It can be a compliment. It can be an insult to an emotionally shattered child grieving for her mother. It can be a pick me up when a run really sucked, but you gave your all and then some anyway to get it done right.
Strong. Strength. Relentless forward progress. I personally took the comment from my massage therapist, who is also an athlete, as a compliment. I AM strong. I AM mentally strong and prepared for this marathon. I have the strength to move forward, relentlessly, to complete marathon number 10. I CAN do this, because I AM STRONG!
Marathon number 10 is happening in 5 sleeps! Bring it on!