December 28, 2020 – Hope
Hope everyone’s having a good unstructured holiday. I know I’ve taken a break from looking at and posting on logs – I will get back to that next week and looking forward to reading what you’ve been up to!
One thing I’ve been thinking about a fair bit is the idea of maintaining Hope. Hope is such a powerful motivator. I think it’s even a superpower. I’m not talking about rose-coloured glasses or false optimism or just crossing your fingers and closing your eyes and hoping for the best. I’m talking about really believing in a potential positive outcome, and using that belief to work to make it happen. If you give up hope, you stop trying. I can definitely see how people can fall into this trap when it feels like your efforts aren’t getting you anywhere. But when what we were hoping for doesn’t happen, we have to persevere in finding hope in something else.
I’m thinking in part of Sara Hall, who just ran the second fastest marathon of any American woman. This great article sums up her drive and attitude well. Basically, she failed at making the Olympics and failed again in the next round at 37 years of age. She was looking at a pandemic year with no races scheduled. So she swung her hopes from one dream to another, trained with that hope and vision in mind, found a race put together for elites, and raced to a world class personal best time (2:20:32) which was nearly an American record.
It’s easy to let our hopes get dashed. But the sense of defeat and helplessness when they do is paralyzing. This is true for big and small events. I was cross country skiing the other day along a trail which started winding up. And up. And up. At each turn I thought, “the top must be at the end of this rise” so I worked my way up, and then saw that it was only winding around another incline. If I had seen the entire hill stretched out in front I probably would have lost hope and turned around. But each segment kept me buoyed with hope until I finally made it to the top.
For big picture examples I think of climate change, racial injustice, economic disparity, human kindness and morality. Hope for the positive outcome in all of these areas is easily dashed, but we have to fight to hold onto it. That gives us the energy to keep working towards what we want. And eventually we’ll get to a new reality. Like Sara Hall, it may not be the reality we initially envisioned, but it will be something great!
So, if I could give you all one gift for 2021 it would be the gift of hope. If hope is the flame that lights our way through a dark tunnel (which is what I read when I looked it up), then even if it is a small little flame quivering in the wind, we have to protect it from going out with all our might. And if it does happen to get extinguished, we have to struggle to light a new match, even if it’s wet and windy and our matchsticks keep breaking. It’s not always easy to hold onto hope, but it is the best way forward. That will be our superpower. I think 2021 will be a great year for all of us.
Workouts for this week:
- 8-15 x 1 min on, 1 min off. I like this one to keep the legs spinning.
- Tempo option: 3 x 8 min w 3 min easy
Happy New Year Everyone and looking forward to seeing y’all in 2021!!!