When you think about it, there are lots of expressions with essentially the same message--don't give up just because something has not gone well. I have to say that I was reminded of this in a crystal clear way during my 16 mile run yesterday. For the overall pace, I ran 7:37's. As someone I know who is a student of mine (when it comes to public health) and a mentor of mine (when it comes to the difference running can make in people's lives) would say, "That's not too shabby." Agreed. I realize that for some of the people whom I have met through running and whose presence I love being in--that would be their fastest race time--and then some. But, I have been lucky to bring myself to a level where that is good for me, but I want more. As a training pace--nothing to complain about.
However, it was, by no means, a constant 7:37 pace throughout. In particular, as I ran the perimeter of the lake in Druid Hill Park (where it goes up along the outside of the park), I ran a 7:15. That surprised me when I looked at my watch. Three miles later, I saw 8:14. That was where I had to make a fundamental decision--cruise in the last three miles at around the same pace or maybe at 8's, or try to regain my composure and get back to the original goal I'd set of somewhere in the 7:45 to 7:30 range. Well, I have been working on training myself to overcome the mental (and physical) hurdles of regaining my composure, and I did, running the last three in 7:44, 7:37, 7:33 with a net elevation gain. My ability to get back what I wanted reminded me that "a bad mile does not make a race a lost cause" (or beyond redemption). And that applies to so many other things in life.
I can have a bad family event--but I don't give up. I can have a bad day at work--but I go right back again. I can even have a project at work that goes badly--still, time to get right back on track and try again. Unless the mile is the last mile or it is so bad that I pretty much have to stop the race, I always have the chance to keep going. Again, that carries over into life. And God always gives a second chance. People usually do. But not always. When people don't that can be one of the hardest things to deal with. Still, I hope for the best and try to get back up and fix what went wrong.
The lessons from running to life and life to running never stop amazing me.