I have realized that my closest friends and I all have three things in common.
One, we love Starbucks. Who doesn’t get a kick out of ordering something that starts or ends with frappa, mocha, machiatto or latte? It wasn’t uncommon for my college roommate and I to take multiple trips in the same day to our coffee haven.
Two, we like The Hills. MTV throwback, anyone? The perfect combination of fashion, friends and chasing after dreams in a big city. Well, maybe my friends don’t like the show as much as I do. They probably just entertain it because they know how much I like it. What can I say? I do have seasons two and three on DVD. They were Christmas presents! I would be a bad gift receiver if I didn’t watch them regularly.
Three, we love running. When I think of my closest girlfriends, I think of running. On average three to five days a week, you can find us strapping on our running shoes before dawn to beat the summer heat. We even run outside in the winter and in the rain or snow.
There is something addicting about running. Maybe it is the rush you get as your feet pound the pavement and you feel your heart beat inside your chest. Maybe it is the competitiveness of wanting to run farther and faster than you did the last time. Maybe it is how great you feel after you accomplish a running goal or how great your body looks after a few days of the intense cardio.
Running for me has always been personal. I run, plain and simple, because life isn’t easy. Every time I run, I imagine whatever obstacles and road blocks life has placed in my way and I run over them. When I feel pain in my abs or shins, I keep running. I never look to the right or to the left at other runners. (When I have in the past, it always slows me down.) I have learned to keep my eyes straight ahead and focus on my goal.
Twenty Something Advice for Anybody:
“Be persistent. Nothing that is worth doing is ever easy.”
-Ruzwana Bashir, Founder of Peek.com
On a recent run, I realized what a perfect metaphor running is for life. You can choose to strap on your shoes each day at 6 a.m. or sleep in. In life, you can choose to show up every day or not. With running and in life, you most certainly will experience pain. When it hurts, you can choose to stop. You can quit and walk away or you can choose to keep running. You can push past the pain and endure. You can choose to persevere.
One common thread for all human beings is suffering. We all face loss, pain and uncertainty in this life. As a twenty something, I have known a lot of uncertainty lately in the job and relationship departments. Your pain may not look like mine and vice versa, but pain is pain. The one thing I have learned and developed through running is an attitude of persistence. The ability to keep going when things get hard is so essential in this life. Whether on the job, in school, with family and friends or within yourself, you are guaranteed to face difficulty. The question is: “What will you do when things get hard?”
I encourage you that when things get hard, to lace on your running shoes anyway. Show up. Push through the pain. Run on top of the obstacles. Keep going. Don’t look to the left or to the right at what others are doing. Stay focused on your goal and you will reach it. When you get knocked down or face something painful, remember that you have a choice. You always have a choice. Choose to persevere.
Here is a perfect song to help you keep running: