Navigating the Unexpected Course

Hills. I hate them. I haven’t come across too many people who actually enjoy them.

The past three races that I have participated in have all ended up having some pretty major hills. Hills that I didn’t expect to be there.

Here in the wonderful Midwest, because of all of the rain we’ve gotten, the rising water caused the courses of my half marathons to be altered. That meant that my course for the Starved Rock Half was not what I was expecting it to be. That meant that a course that last year was downhill and flat became a course that was not only physically challenging, but mentally challenging as well.

But it was as I was running up and down those hills that I realized the universe was trying to tell me something. I thought at first it was that I simply needed to run more hills. (This is probably true, but I don’t think that’s the real takeaway.) I realized that all of the hills I had to tackle were just like the ups and downs I have been facing in my life.

For, almost, the past 2 years I have faced some major changes – major challenges. The path has certainly not been the one I thought I had chosen; the path has been full of struggles and obstacles I did not expect to be there.

I have had to make hard choices; I’ve had to learn hard lessons. Through the ups and the downs I’ve had to think differently than before. There have been times when I could see the obstacles rising up in front of me and prepare the best I could. But there have also been times where it felt like I was blindsided by the change of direction – when I couldn’t see or predict what was coming.

A course, or path, that you think is planned out is suddenly changed and your life has instantly become 10 times harder. Immediately you’re faced with a choice: quit, don’t even try or change your mindset and tackle the hills that rise up in front of you.

In running and in life, there have been unexpected changes in my course. In both cases, I have had to adjust.

One thought on “Navigating the Unexpected Course

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  1. Great running analogy. One good thing about hills: is that one you complete a couple of them, they become easier to navigate. I find that use in running and in life.

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