Every runner knows that training for a race is a process of elaborate planning and goal setting. We start by training our bodies: logging miles and building strength. Next we train our minds: we become familiar with the intensity that comes along with rigorous, habitual training and learn what to do when we “hit a wall.” We blister, know down to the minute when we will need to eat, and know what activities we enjoy after a training run. I have been a runner for close to five years, but never once have I trained for setbacks. That is, until now.
What do I mean by "training for a setback?" This weekend, I ran my third half marathon ever, the Fred Lebow Manhattan Half, which is the first of three I plan to run in the next four months. At mile 9, which is usually where I hit that lovely sweet spot where tenacity and focus push me to the finish line, I felt a sharp pain course up my ankle. I winced (trying to ignore my pain), and finished, only to end up in the doctor’s office later that day with a torn ligament. As the doctor taught me to walk with crutches, I watched the dream of breaking personal records and trying new courses vanish before my eyes. A setback in every sense of the definition.
As my physical training takes one course in the start of this year, I prepare for another training, this time in the field of social entrepreneurship, as a fellow in the PresenTense NYC Fellowship. I come to PresenTense with an idea, overwhelmed by possibility. However, I know that over the next four months my idea will grow stronger, more focused and eventually experience setback. I know that this experience will be rigorous, but with a goal in mind and a training plan, it is possible to succeed.
Through my love of running I have learned that training is not about how you start or in what time you finish, it is about every step you take throughout your run. The small bump you hit at mile 9 is just as crucial as the step that takes you across the finish line. With setbacks in mind, I look forward to training my entrepreneurial side through PresenTense.