When I’m out training, I'm battling both myself and the elements.
The pain is real, the pain is now. The end (of each training session) is a distant image, because at the present moment, my lungs are short of air, my muscles are sore, my legs feel heavy like lead, my body is tense from the relentless lashing of the cold wind unleashing its might and fury here in the Bay area. When I’m swimming, the difficulty increases many notches, being the discipline I’m least proficient in - often, I feel like I’m fighting my biggest demons before entering the water and during the swim. It’s such a mental torture, yet I keep at it day after day.
I may not confess this often enough, but I do now: I’m not a naturally gifted athlete, so I work doubly hard to be a better athlete than I think I’m capable of.
Training is a tough task master that challenges me in every possible way - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually sometimes (when I let out a great big sigh and whisper under my breath: Lord, please help me through this - I can’t do this by myself).
Yet, through it all, I love training. I love the distance it pushes me to go, the limitations it makes me break and the walls it makes me climb.
For all that we’ve been through, training is like a close buddy I’ve developed a relationship and affection for, and can’t do without.