I was a distance runner in high school, and though I was never much of a speed demon, logging miles and miles of runs on Utah’s roads and trails helped shaped who I am today.
One of my most memorable lessons was about how to cope with the jabbing side ache pain that usually comes about a mile and a half into a run. At first, I thought the pain meant I was hurting myself, so I had to quit.
Then, my team captain taught me that the best thing would be to make myself look like a baboon and breathe heavily and with consistency, even if passersby looked at me funny.
“They’ll be gone in a minute,” she said.
I don’t run much anymore, but this week its good to remember that lesson in the face of the Boston Marathon bombings and poisoned mailings to Washington, D.C. This is a sad, scary time for many people, and its one that is full of unknowns, but that doesn’t mean we should quit.
The Davis distance runners I spoke to this week already know this, and their example is heartening.
It makes me smile to think that whoever decided to take on distance runners has no idea what he or she is up against.
Don’t quit running, don’t quit going to large social gatherings, don’t quit supporting your towns and cities, and don’t even quit. This has been a bad week, but the best thing to do is breathe deeply and carry on.
As my strong, wonderful grandmother often says, “This too shall pass.”