How do you measure 10 minutes?
There is, at least for me, a huge gap in the wanting for time to pass and the actual passing of time. I have been stuck in the same ten minutes of time before, for what seemed like forever. Time is this concept we have placed all our trust in. We believe in it. We assume it is an absolute. A thing we can thank the sun for. A passage through. A movement in. A moment in. A thought.
Give me a second. Hang on a second. Slow down a minute there. Hurry up, we don't have all day. Quick like a bunny. Step it up. Let's make some tracks.
Time will tell. She always does. The tale she tells is mostly up to you though.
Ten minutes. Let's encapsulate this ten minutes. Let's contemplate this ten minutes, in context. During an exam? One you are failing? On a long run? At the beginning? Nearer to the end? Slowly? Quickly?
An ultra runner measures ten minutes the same way. Ten minutes until I will let myself walk again. Ten minutes until I have to start running again. Ten minutes until the race starts. Ten minutes to wait in line for the portapot... (what am I doing I'm an ultra runner, where's the nearest tree?). Ten minutes off my last PB time on this course. Ten minutes for the next mile. Ten minutes to the next aid station. Ten minutes until I see my tent again, my crew again, civilization again. Ten minutes I might lose my mind in. Ten minutes to change the world. Longest ten minutes ever. Longest five seconds ever. Don't give up.
Then we stop. Perhaps we don't stop running, or walking, or crawling forward. But we take pause mentally and regroup. Challenge our physical space against this person we have set out to be. And one deep breath after the next, make an important decision. A life changing decision. One we will make over and over again.
Who am I?
My answer for this is always the same. I swear I merely forget from time to time. My answer is always the stepping stone for the next moment. I may not know who I am. But I know who I don't want to be. I know who I'm aiming to be. I know, specifically, the vastness of the universe I know nothing about, that is waiting for me just beyond. Just past this next step.... If I would only brave taking it.
Will you brave taking it with me?
This journey along the Bruce Trail in August has so many steps. The "timeline" will take me through some of the darkest corners of my inhibitions. First, back to the Boston Marathon, where the events of last year still haunt my dreams and threaten to shake the foundation of my trust. This is a trust I work daily to cement. A trust in the earth beneath my feet, always being there to rise up and meet me. A trust in the goodness of people and their willingness to help. A trust in the universe to show me the direction I should take next in life. After Boston, there are a few events to keep smiles ever present. A marathon here or there. A 10 mile swim. A 24 hour bike race. A nap or two. And then the Bruce.
So we return, how do you measure ten minutes? Is it easier to let it go without a watch? Is it more comfortable to not think of time ticking away?
128 days until my feet (along with the feet of so many wonderful volunteers) touch the Bruce Trail and begin. Each day bringing us closer to the end. Each day setting out to show the world that disabled athletes are out there, trying, investing, training, focusing, and looking forward to the next ten minutes.
Every minute is a gift. Whether or not it was wrapped in beautiful paper and bows, or mud and twigs - it's still a gift.
Much love on the run,
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