This morning 3 men gathered in the gloom and ran for about 45 minutes.
I love backblasts for Running AOs.
A few days ago Dredd tweeted out a Socratic question- “Does Courage require the absence of Fear?”
I would posit that Courage requires fear, not its absence.
It takes ignorance or arrogance to walk into a new situation and not feel a slight tremor of fear.
My family relies on my paycheck. My family relies on my presence. If I am removed from the equation the most important people in my life become stressed and endangered very quickly. My fear is not for myself. Rather it is for those that my absence would threaten, because their peace and happiness mean more to me than my own.
However, addressing and facing this fear makes me stronger. It can bring with it inner peace and through that bring joy and happiness to those who depend on me. A few months ago I decided to add Saturdays to my workout calendar. But my wife needs to leave before the Saturday AOs close. So I turned it into a long run.
Does my long Saturday run bring me joy?
Not particularly. I am not a great runner. It wears my legs out. I am concerned about the drivers on the road.
But it gives me time to realign myself. I use this time to contemplate. To plan. To focus.
When I return home I have been broken down physically, but renewed mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
You see, in the fear of being average or unavailable I have found the drive to push and better myself.
While a long run is not the bravest thing I do on a weekly basis, it has forced me to examine the world and think of people whom I admire. To try and see all sides of a situation. When you run for an hour and a half with no music there is lots of time to think.
Through my job I get to meet a plethora of people. Examples of bravery that I have thought about in the past few weeks include:
1-The family who adopted three children with a variety of mental and physical impairments when the drug addicted mother decided to get rid of them. They decided it was the right thing to do to keep the kids together and were afraid that no one else would take on all three. I can only imagine the fear they felt.
2- The young girl who came to school tired on a daily basis because she had to get her younger brother and sister up, fed, and packed to get on the bus. She was 12 at the time. She is now a senior in high school. How much weight is too much for a child? Not once did she complain, though surely she felt fear.
3- The man who went to court over a girl he had raised since infancy only to find out she was not his at the age of 12. When she was 14 he decided that her mother should not be allowed to continue to destroy this young girls life with her apathetic and erratic actions. No one doubts this is courageous, but surely there had to be some fear as well? Some hesitation?
Despite their concerns. Despite their barriers. Despite their fears. These people chose love. They chose kindness. They chose right.
I would posit that true courage requires fear.
You should be afraid of major actions. Fear keeps you focused. Fear keeps you driven. Owning your fear is empowering.
It is only when we are tested that we realize how strong we are.