Wasn’t the Grass Greener?
By Fred Deckert,
I recently read a book titled “Wasn’t the Grass Greener,” recollections on past events, customs etc. It struck me how apt the title was, not only for general reminiscing, but for the runner’s little world. We can get to the point where we live so much in the past, as someone said, “I was almost as good as I think I was!” Of course this is a fruitless, if sometimes tempting diversion, closely related to feeling sorry for oneself.
While musing on this subject another book title came to mind, “The Agony and the Ecstasy.” Few phrases could capture our running memories better. Think of the agonies of some of your tougher races or intervals on the track, and you are grateful the body has poor memory of pain. If it didn’t, most of us would be members of one child families and coach Gary Droze would be very lonesome at the FSU track intervals. Those agonies do however lead to the ecstasy of accomplishments we didn’t think possible. Those old saws like, “no pain, no gain,” have more than a grain of truth to them. How often have you neared the finish of a race feeling there was absolutely nothing left for your body to give? Yet the sight of the finish line or another competitor closing on you inspired a desperate borrowing of tomorrow’s oxygen with little thought of the accompanying agony. Those tough track intervals are good training for that effort.
Looking back at the high spots, luckily the pleasure portion overshadows the pain portion, but it’s necessary to remember that the ecstasy doesn’t come for free. You can run for fun, and you can run for fun and competition but the latter requires that extra discipline and yes, pain! The pain can sometimes come with longer lasting injury, so it is important for your health’s sake to know when to stop pushing the body. Generally speaking, what still hurts the next day is a signal to back off and let some healing take place. You’ll lose a lot more time and conditioning if you ignore that sign.