Monday, August 31, 2009


Hill. The dreaded 4-letter word. A mere mention of the word and runners are quick to respond. I hear it all the time—the sighs and groans of runners-in-training at the base of a hill. They respond with statements like, “Are you ready for the hill?” “This is going to be painful,” “I’m gonna die,” and “Let’s get this over with!”

As a seasoned runner, I too, can feel dismayed just hearing those comments. It makes a little hill sound like a huge mountain, which can be discouraging. When I run, I try not to think of the hill in front of me. I find it better to face the hill one step at a time rather than look at it as one long hill. If you look at the hill as a whole, it will defeat you before you start your climb.

Life is like a hill. If you look too far into your future and speculate what may or may not be, you can get overwhelmed. When you are faced with a problem (the hill of life) you learn that it is better to handle it one step at a time, keep your spirits high, stand tall, and take it day-by-day.

You can apply how you deal with the hills of life on your runs. My coach recommends that when running hills, I shorten my stride, keep the same cadence, keep my body upright, and look a few feet in front of me (not at my feet or the top of the hill).

Hills will make you stronger. It will also add variety to your runs. You may not welcome hills, but it’s good to face them because you will eventually run into a hill and it is better to be prepared for them. As in life, adversities make you stronger. You learn from your problems and grow. You become better people―better able to handle future adversities.

When I feel discouraged, I always think about my honorees. They are my source of encouragement. They are fighting cancer–the ugliest hill no one wants to face, but they do. So whenever I feel that the hill is too hard for me to conquer, I think about how much tougher it is for them to endure the physical pain and mental challenges of cancer.

“Every hill in life is too high if we think we must climb it all at once. But no hill is insurmountable if we take it one step forward at a time, with God.” ~ Dave Branson.

Now go tackle that hill!


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