My New Year’s Resolution feels like it started at 6:16pm on January 19th. After months of trying and failing to get out of a motivational chasm I had fallen effortlessly into a few months before the run that day felt like I had finally clawed my way out. Something had shifted within me, finally falling into place. I vowed to myself through sweat soaked and breathless steps that this slump was over, I was a runner again. After cancelling race after race at the start of the year, the fear of failure scratching at the door of my mental health, I knew I was now back to rebuilding my fitness towards something again.
Training through winter feels like its own right of passage. It is a time when your shadow, drawn long by the 4pm setting sun, is your only company in the golden cold light. You battle through storms so brutal they have names and vindictive personalities. The laundry pile of wet and muddy clothes seems to be unending and smelling worse with each passing week. The crisp frosty air robes the breath from your lungs and your steps crunch upon the hardened earth. You put on layer upon layer of clothes only to get one mile in and regret about twelve of them.
You run when the light of your headtorch is the only thing cutting through the darkness and your breath clouds the road ahead. That beam of light you create is the only light in that tunnel of darkness ahead is a metaphor that drives me out of the door when the warmth of home seems all too tempting.
Training through the winter is a lonely sport, the road ahead is only populated with your solitary steps and you feel that bustling start lines and cheering crowds are myths written down long ago.
These days and nights aren’t filled with glory; no finish line tears and PB pride but each step, each mile, each moment of doubt and hardship is inching closer towards that finish line.
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