Adaptive Humility: Wetlands Run on Book Deadline

adaptive humilityThe self-conscious caveat must be stated: when you run in Boulder, Colorado ye shall come upon runners whose exhaust ye shall breathe. Whether ye are happy about it dependeth upon thee and thy circumstances. Today I was happy to breathe that exhaust and dodge that dust. The vapor trail of this runner even cooled my brow a bit.

Deadline for the M7 Adaptive Fitness Guidebook approaches. Adapting to such a goal while continuing to train is itself a subject of the Guidebook underway. Using my sense of feel as to when my run should end in light of my priorities, I ended my run shy of where I’d normally end it, then headed off to place of writing.

It is humbling and humorous to write a book about sustainable adaptive training and to experience the hybrid passages of multidimensional training. Like sharing trails with faster, more efficient runners. This morning it happened at the end of my run.

On a sandy flatland trail this morning in the last half-mile of my run a young woman passed by who ran more efficiently by far than I. In the spirit of my own pace, I kept my cadence, yet it formed in my ears these words: “as you were.” Not even footfalls can escape the verbal energy of  book season.

“As you were.” Exactly. It was as if a ranking officer in the sport of running entered my running space, passed me by, and all I could do was hope to draft this human antelope and let my image in her wake inspire her to finish yet faster. However, this was a run-out and back trail, so this VIP would return, so the humility was not complete.

She apparently reached that milepost promptly and had turned around. I was grateful that I was further along than I thought I’d be when we again crossed paths. All I could do was give a snappy thumbs up with a salutary smile. I said, “Way to go.” I was very happy with the response. Rather than her smile betraying raucous internal laughter, she smiled a joyful smile suggesting happiness with her accomplishment and gratitude that someone had witnessed it. It’s a privilege to share the trail with those who enjoy their sport in which you are a visitor.

My multidimensional training life is one of forays into others’ sports. I enjoy learning from the excellence found there, as this morning observing the efficiency of a runner. Yet there is something in the comradeship of the running community that accepts everyone whatever the pace. You’re in it with the runners if you’re running. Even in competition, its a community.

Which leads me to a sustainability topic: comradeship. With humility and respect, nearly every sport community admits you as beginner, novice, rising star or champ with a sense of community. Aberrations from good sportsmanship are rare. Being serious about participation in the sport while participating is enough to belong. This is great cause for enthusiasm in getting involved sooner than later. Do not put off for tomorrow what you can start today. Starting today merely means we will arrive at ego pacification earlier, and sooner get beyond ego and into the sport, art or work we entered.

It doesn’t have to be your major or even your obsession although it may become that. Anything worth doing is worth doing the best we can while remaining faithful to our sense of feel and rightness at our respective levels. That sense will prevent injury and have us training into the sustainable fitness we aim for.

Strange as it may seem, humility enables excellence. It also sets the tone for the day when our vapor trail cools the ambitious brow of one of our competitors or fellow athletes. Winning and forging bonds that last puts winning on a whole new plane, a higher, sustainable, joyful plane. May you run there often.

Cheers!

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