July in Florida is brutal for a runner. The heat is oppressive, the humidity is relentless and it starts to mess with your head. And your confidence. You have to play it conservative and that’s hard.
The fact of the matter is you slow down and that’s really hard to handle psychologically. Especially when you’re already a slow runner to begin with. All of the gains I’ve made over the past year feel like they’re dissipating in front of my very eyes. What was easy a few months ago was a struggle now. That horrible companion of mine, doubt, has started to show up again. What am I doing trying to run a marathon? I’m not a runner. Never have been. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Are people looking at me with pity waiting for me to fail?
So with this dubious mindset I set off on my training run this evening. The first few miles were just a struggle to keep plodding on through the wet streets out by the golf course where I live. The sun and humidity were putting me in a cranky mood and I realized I needed to check my attitude. So I said a little prayer that God might help me find my joy and realize my blessings. Then I saw this.
No biggie, right? Just a rainbow. But look closer.. it’s a full rainbow going across the sky. Starts off fairly light on the left, disappears in the middle, then comes back full and bright on the right. And it struck me that it’s a visual metaphor to this crazy journey I’m on. I started off with a dream, a faint but beautiful image. The finish line will be an amazing, indelible ray of color when I get there. But right now I’m somewhere in the middle. It’s not pretty, it’s not eye-catching and it’s easy to feel like the dream is disappearing. But where I’m at right now it so important: I’m at the place where I link my dream to the reality. That place where you just keep moving forward, believing the other end of the rainbow will be where it should be. Right now I’m where I put in the hard work that will get me to the end of the rainbow. And seeing this was exactly what I needed.
I pulled off negative splits for the rest of my run with a smile on my face. Slow and steady may not win the race, but it will get me to the end. I just need to keep believing. And I’m thankful for this sign that I’m going to make it to the other end.