As my junior year of college ended this last May, I came back home with a few weeks off from running. During that time my parent's yard was in need of some landscaping work. I have always grown up around yard work, plants, grass as I have helped and been around my dad's landscaping business for my whole life. This specific time back home I decided to make it my mission to clean up my families yard with my off time from running. Now those who don't know a lot about yard work it is a process to get a yard from a weed-filled dry plant bed to a freshly full yard of beautiful blossoming flowers. Just like the process of the creating a beautiful yard the process of running successfully is a lengthy, consistent, difficult one. Throughout this article, I will attempt to explain three main points of consistency within distance running that I have learned through my time in this sport.
Every day matters. With each day from the beginning of the landscaping work of my family's yard, every day and everything that I did for the yard shared some type of importance. Whether it be removing the weeds in a part of the yard or planting a small flower in the ground, all things done for the yard was of value. Likewise, within running, I learned that consistency is established and held up through seeing the importance in every day. In my senior year of high school, I learned a lot about the value that is held in each practice that when added together create the journey of the season.
Never overlook the small parts and the beauty of the small things in each day. During this summer of working in my yard, it was never the big movements of planting flowers or laying down mulch that developed what it is right now. Instead, it was the removing or weeds, cutting of bushing and all the small work that got it to the complete yard and garden it is. Just with running the consistency of the small things from stretching, weights, and sleep have affected how successful a season goes. Also, while doing yard work in early May I was constantly focused on how much work I could get done each day to be finished. As time passed into June I slowly began to look around more at the small bugs crawling through the grass, the rosebuds springing from the ground, and the mix of colors each flower illuminated. The garden housed life that was moving and operating all around from the smallest blade of grass to the largest blue spruce bush. Through my running career, there have been so many moments of beauty.
When I was in high school my team watched the movie "Grown Ups" and a very distinct part of that movie involved a very elaborate handshake that Taylor Lautner and another actor did. Throughout that following cross country season a few of teammates and I memorized that exact same handshake and before long everyone knew it. The simple moment to create a handshake that everyone shared was a small beauty of that season that unites a team together. Beyond winning, running personal bests, and even training, running has given me so many moments of beauty but to truly see them I had to be in the moment and harbor my heart in the small parts of each day that establish the journey in the end.
This summer working in my family's yard has offered an incredible perspective of how work over time can create a beautiful fruit, in this case, a great looking yard, but what I truly learned throughout it all was the joy and the gift that we have in each day to chase what sets our heart on fire. It doesn't matter what you chase but if you are passionate about it give it all you got, but never forget the importance in each day and the beauty in the journey of reaching your goals.
I have been honored to have the ability to run healthy and strong over a long period of time on many different occasions. But, consistency is far more than doing something over a long period of time, it is doing it with joy in your heart and enjoying the day that is in front of you and the ability to do what you love.