It takes grit and determination to achieve anything worthwhile. Very few good and meaningful things just fall into your lap, good things usually come with sacrifice and dedication. Although I’ve also learnt to appreciate a blessing from God – just for nothing, because He loves us so much.
So the hubby completed his first Ultra Marathon this weekend. If you missed my last blog post, that was 42kms of running shoes slapping the dusty streets of Soweto. He said it was gruelling, the toughest thing his body has ever endured (lucky for him, he doesn’t have to experience childbirth). He said that there were many times during the race, when he thought that this was it, and his body just couldn’t go on, but the human spirit is an amazing thing, and the encouragement from his co-runner, Lester and those running with them, egged him on. He said the camaraderie and the unity of that 4000 strong body of people running towards the finish, was like a natural high, which mentally lifted you out of the half way hump. Although his body was broken from the beating, the first thing he said as he hobbled walked through the door was that he couldn’t wait for the next one. Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t go about looking for ways to hurt myself.
Anyway, this race and the run up to this event, really got me thinking about my husband, the runner. He isn’t a seasoned athlete, in fact he’s no athlete at all. He started running about a year ago. I thought it was a phase, I thought he’d get bored with it, so didn’t pay it much attention. He is a soccer-man, but when the babies came, there just wasn’t time for him to be training in the week and playing on the weekend, and that’s why he opted to run.. it was something he could do on his own time, it didn’t take a team to make it happen and he still got to keep fit. And now a year later, he’s joined a running club, faithfully takes to the road sometimes twice a day and is running marathons. I am so proud of him, probably because I have never stuck to anything I have tried. I know, I’m a loser. I may not even stick to this parenting thing because it really gets hard for me sometimes (like I have a choice). Nonetheless, my husband has taught me the value of Staying Power, something my father has always instilled in us, from a young age, but a lesson I have just taken a really long time to catch. Staying Power means that you keep at something, even when the going gets tough, it means you maintain and build on your momentum, stretching towards your goal, ignoring the trials and obstacles (like a nagging wife or bad weather) that cloud your path. And even when he reaches his goal, he keeps raising the bar to challenge himself.. Soweto today, Two Oceans tomorrow, Comrades the next day!
He is an inspiration to a sloth like me. I fully understand the value of exercising your body, I know full well the knock-on effect it has on your mental and emotional health. But I’ve just never been into spandex. I digress.. My husband has always been a keeper – but this latest accomplishment has really upped his standing on the Keeper Pole. Not because of the achievement per se, but because of his determination and fortitude. Because in all of this, he is teaching the kids (and me) a priceless lesson about giving your best and going the whole hog and I love him for that.