Do you like to push yourself? That feeling when your muscles start to burn deep inside, when you become aware of the air pumping in and out of your lungs, when you run out of steam, you're going on vapors, but you run on anyway?
In general, I don't.
I'm not really big on pain, or even discomfort. When I run, I usually listen to really loud, angry music to drown out my loud, angry thoughts. And while I do have goals of improvement, my progress isn't be as rapid as someone who thrives on testing their limits. I'll get there...eventually.
There are a few things that make it easier, though. I go to a gym where I can look around and see other people who have to work out too. It seems less unfair that way.
And, once every four years, the Olympics come on, and I actually kind of want to go run. I see these athletes who redefine human potential, who have honed one singular ability to near perfection, and have put their all on the line. I have no idea what they sacrifice to get there, but I admire it.
As I watch them while I jog my miles, I am reminded that, well, jogging my miles is not cruel and unusual. It is a worthy endeavor. And even if I'm uncomfortable when the treadmill hits 2.75, I can push on through, because there are other people who work way harder than that and survive.
So, even though I'm kind of wiped right now, I'm feeling pretty good because I showed those three miles who was boss.
And I'm grateful for the Olympic boxers who smacked the snot out of each other as I ran, reminding me that it could be worse.