Against the Wind

I ran at the reservoir the other day. It was beautiful – air cool, humidity low, sun shining, great fluffy clouds (I chased their shadows as they rushed past — they won every time), and water sparkling. And wind blowing. Why, when it’s really blowing, is the wind against me three of the four directions? It was like that today up on the mounded earth that surrounds the reservoir. When I run against the wind and it roars in my ears and mounts its resistance, causing me to strain against it, I always look forward to the relief and boost I’ll feel when I finally reach that turn and head its direction. But when I finally get to run with the wind rather than against it, I don’t feel it at all. It’s not at my face anymore, but I don’t feel it at my back either. It always disappoints me. All I feel is still; still and hot. I complain about it in my head everytime I run on a windy day.

But this time this thought came to me: The real reward doesn’t come from running with the wind. We usually don’t even notice when the wind is at our back and everything is easy. What if the real exhilaration comes from fighting the adversity of the wind, from having to lean into it, reaching deep for that extra strength, from holding steady and facing the fight?
And what if this is true for more than running?

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