I was running south down Drayton Street, along Forsyth Park, on yet another high-heat, high-humidity day in Savannah.
It seems like every time I’ve looked down at my phone’s weather application the past two months, it says something on the order of “92°, feels like 109°.”
I’d been frustrated by my inability — really, lack of true desire — to push past two or three miles (I’d been running two or three times a day sometimes to get some time in on the pavement).
That particular day, I had set out to run five miles, and here I was, about 2.25 miles in, drenched, sagging and miserable. Up ahead about a quarter mile — well within my view — was a corner.
I could turn left, and get home in about a mile, or I could turn right and keep going. I could go home, get comfortable and tell myself I was going back out later, or I could push myself through.
Let me note here that in general, five miles is not a stretch for me. I’ll run my second half marathon this fall, and I’ve set a running goal of 1,000 miles this year.
At 10 minutes per mile, a quarter mile is two minutes, 30 seconds. That’s not a long time if, say, you’re driving to Baltimore. But just sit there and count off two and a half minutes. Go ahead. Bet you last about 15 seconds and say, “OK, I get the point.”
Two and a half minutes of norepinephrine nudging me to the left, saying, “hey, three-plus miles on a really hot day isn’t all that bad!” And a piece of my brain, feebly frying in the July heat, meekly responding, “no…I’m…running…five…today.”
Kelvin and I did a podcast on this yesterday.
It’s these bouts of internal arguments that make the difference between settling for good enough and going for great.
It’s these little corners — turn left or turn right — that make the difference between the comfortable status quo the uncomfortable moments required for growth.
It’s these decisions you make — be good enough or turn toward greatness — that define who you become.
I ran a touch over 5.6 miles that day. Which way would you turn?