When things are hard

One of the many great things about hard physical exercise as the first thing to do in the day is that you learn about toughing it out.

As a runner of 24 years, I know that some days you show up and it feels like you are running on air. Each step effortless and flowing.

On other days, like today, muscles feel like lead, the rhythm is missing, and every step feels off. It can change at some point, becoming easy for no apparent reason, which gives you hope. Sometimes, like today, it doesn’t. It is just hard for the entire run and the only way through is to tough it out. To grit your teeth, and keep going.

With running, you know where the end is.

In life, we do not know where this endpoint is when things change and turn around towards more ease. When or how it will arrive.

When things are hard, and endurance is required, we are asked to keep making the next step. And the next step. And the next.

I admire those people who demonstrate endurance over decades, like Nelson Mandela. 27 years incarcerated. The millions of people who have toughed it out after abuse. Through war. Through being stateless. I particularly admire those who do so with dignity and grace, refusing to sink into the easy arms of victimisation and entitlement.

Take the next step. And the next. Keep your head high. Keep focused on a horizon that has beauty, hope, dignity and justice as the ground. Ask for help. Help others.

It is, after all, we the people, who get to be the change. Be the change.

September 29 2018

Photo taken November 19th 2017