I am durable.

Years ago, when Andrew started coaching endurance runners, he described me as a durable runner. He still does. This guy kicks my tail at least 75% of the time in Scrabble, and the best word he could come up with is “durable?”

Granted, I could not be described as a graceful, talented, or speedy runner. My finish times have improved as I’ve put more effort into my training, but I’m rarely at the top of my age group.

And, he’s not inaccurate. I’ve done innumerable foolish things to my body during training and continue to run, mostly without injury. I’m proud of my recent decision not to hurl myself down a long, soapy slip-n-slide into a mud pit at Family Camp the weekend before the Blue Ridge Relay. For me, that level of self-possession is remarkable.

I’d rather be tough than durable. But, I’m still working on being tough, mostly on the mental side. Plenty of times I’ve spiraled into self-doubt and have had to rely on outside forces for reassurance that yes, I can run that next mile, yes, I can go longer, yes, I can suffer and come out on the other side. One day, I’d like for that calm and assurance to come from within.

As time goes by and I accrue more miles on my feet, I realize just how lucky I am to be durable. I’d love to continue running for many years. I’ll take durable!

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