Remember these guys, my beginner running clinic who never complained? Well this was the final week of their clinic, and I have to tell you…
While Wednesdays were hit-or-miss weather-wise, Mondays were unfailingly terrible for twelve straight weeks. We ran in snow. We ran in rain. In wind. In a sleet. Sometimes all in the same 20-minute run. And still…they never complained. Even if I slipped up and complained, no one jumped on the bandwagon with me.
Not only that, every single person who started the clinic with me the first night was there this Wednesday. Even the person who missed the last four weeks due to the plague a lung infection was there. One person who joined late was not there, but had been out on Monday – a 100% graduation rate.
On the final night of my clinic I always do something a little mean – I don’t stick to the schedule. I tell them: no watches – we are all going to run until someone besides me calls a walk-break. Then we’ll take a minute, and finish by running whatever is left in our 20 minutes. Of course, no one ever calls the walk break and the group runs for 20 minutes straight, even though before that night, most have never run more than 11 minutes without a break.
Wednesday was no exception. I ran with the person with the lung infection on the way back towards home base, watching the lead-pack got farther and farther away – as the 20 minutes ended, they were still running, and too far ahead to call to. And they ran charged all the way up a hill that had been giving them trouble. They only stopped because they got back to where we started.
One courageous member of the group showed up despite the rain, missing a lot of time and dealing with reduced lung-capacity. The other courageous members of the group ran for 24 minutes straight, in the rain, up the hill – and not one of them complained.
Once again I draw inspiration from this group. And I am incredibly proud.