As runners and cyclists, it’s easy to become obsessed with the wind – which direction is it blowing, what’s the mph, when will it be a headwind, a tailwind or a complete whirlwind on the bridge? The funny thing about the wind I’ve noticed is that I always seem to take it for granted when it’s at my back and I don’t recognize that it’s a tailwind until it’s gone. When it’s coming head on at 20 mph, I curse and question my good sense for even getting out of bed. When it’s at my back, for some reason, I think I’ve morphed into Shalane. I hit my stride, the run feels effortless and I pat myself on the back for my hard training finally paying off. Then I touch the end of the pier and turn to head home ready to negative split this bad boy and WHAM! There it is and there it was the entire time. That was just a 12 mph wind at your back and no, you are not Shalane, my friend.
The more aware I’ve become of this charade, the more I think of the wind as a metaphor for life, in general. When you’re rocking life – for a mile, maybe a day or you’re on a roll having a great month, recognize your tailwind and don’t take it for granted. Ride it, make the most of it and know that there’s going to be a headwind at some point. There has to be. That’s called life, sweetheart. Yes, the headwinds make us stronger and blah, blah, blah, but more than anything, they should make us grateful for the tailwinds and all the forces and people surrounding you that created those winds. Life is so full of headwinds that when you finally catch a tailwind, you have to be aware of it and be grateful for it. Recognize your good fortune for that mile and ride it, for as long as it lasts, and give thanks all the way home. I’m going to replace Shalane’s famous “f—yes!” with “Finally, yes!”