When I was younger I used to swim endurance races. Endurance anything can be brutal, because if you are doing it right that its painful and intense and harsh all at once. My race was the mile. In a 25 meter pool a mile is 100 laps. My fastest time was 20:30. I can't describe how incredible that race was, to finish, to compete in and to give it all away was most indescribable 20 minutes of my life.
Here is my question: What makes a long distance athlete? What is that is innately there that enables people to lay it all on the line mile after mile. When it comes to running I am not the fastest, in fact I look like a tank; heavy, awkward, broad, without fines or grace, or the lightness of being, but I know that someday I will be able to run farther than most, longer than most. I know this because it is how I am designed.
The question becomes: What is it that transcends the muscles, the body, and genetic design that enables one to sacrifice and give of their body for such a long period of time? What is it? I have some theories, but I haven't settled on a definite idea.
Here is one of my theories, take it for what it is worth which isn't hardly anything. I think people are born with certain burdens, that are certain weight. Some people's burdens are heavy and some are light. All our lives we carry these burdens and sometimes pick up new burdens, only sometimes do we set these burdens or shed them all completely. These burdens make us strong, hard, they shape us and transform us. This is good because this how we are made, how we grow.
Running, Swimming, biking, and any sport really, is all about setting down the burdens, and being weightless. When you have been carrying around so much weight, to be free of it, for a just a moment--is indescribable. Look I don't want to talk my burdens, those that I was born with, nor the ones I have been given, but they are heavy, they tie me to the ground. However, out on the track, in my tennis shoes, my body wrapped in sweat, I escape.
The question now becomes, how long can we live without our burdens? How long can we go without them
2 mile run
1 hour swim