Running Is Practice for Life: Quick Thoughts on How Running Prepared Me for One of My Life’s Most Important Challenges

When E was admitted to the hospital my life went into a complex and stressful period of logistics management, worry, and long, long days.  I’d get up, make Levi and myself breakfast, get ready for work, go to the hospital for an hour, go to work, try to focus, leave a bit early, spend another hour with E, then go back home, make Levi dinner, put him to bed, eat myself, go to sleep, and repeat. Somedays my parents were there to help; some days we further complicated it by bringing Levi into the city to see his mother.

It was a marathon (metaphorically) and I’m thankful to the skills marathoning (literally) gave me which prepared me for it.

Endurance training isn’t just about the physical adaptions your body makes. Though those adaptions certainly helped my get through those weeks, running also gave me tools and experience in managing large, painful, endeavors.

Every day E and Anna were in the hospital, I tried to focus on the day’s tasks, and not dwell on the long term “what ifs” that can drive you insane. Its something I’ve learned through marathon training where I try to finish the week’s mileage goal and not worry too much about all the things that can go wrong. When the days were long, and the tasks many, I tried to break it up into smaller segments, just like we break the race up in miles, quarter miles, or even steps.

Just get Levi feed, I’d think some mornings. You can worry about everything else later.

Do that, repeatedly, and the work gets done, the miles go by and the situation remains under control.

Of course a wife and baby in the hospital is far more serious that a stupid foot race. But those stupid foot races can prepare you for the challenges of life’s most serious problems.

Thanks running, you’ve given me more than fitness.

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About seanv2

Scholar, gentleman, jock. I run the website Milo and the Calf. There you will find the Boston Qualifier Questionnaire where runners share their stories of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. You'll also find my thoughts on endurance sports, ancient history, Judaism, and hundreds of book reviews.
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