I looked up the definition of the word recently, because it was the word that came to mind when I heard that our friend Sam Fox had agreed to speak to our students at last weekend’s race:
(noun) – steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
Sam, of Run While You Can, completed a 2,400-mile run/hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Canadian border to the Mexican, to raise money — the grand total reached $170,000 — for research about Parkinson’s disease, in honor of his mother, who was recently diagnosed. As he puts it, “through thick forests, over snowy mountains, and past sandy desserts, I covered almost 43 miles, every day, for 61 straight days.”
One can only imagine that such a run would require the runner to overcome difficulties, obstacles, and discouragement, literal and figurative, and Sam’s example speaks volumes about that intangible runners seem to have in spades. Our kids may not yet have reached 43 miles a day, but they too show incredible perseverance, training week in and week out to reach their goals, never relenting despite the inevitable blisters and stitches in the side. It seems they learn more every day that they’re capable of things beyond their wildest dreams, on all of life’s many trails — a good lesson to keep in mind one month out from some of our students’ first half marathon. This is the time in training when perseverance spurs you through to the end, and 13.1 miles seems just a stop along the way.