Watching the Olympic women's marathon on Sunday got me pumped, there is something so amazing and awe inspiring in watching athletes compete at the top of their game. The race presents a culmination of speed, endurance, fortitude, and will. Years of training coming together in one moment, demonstrating the pinnacle of human capacity. The Olympics stirs something elemental in us, gives us a sense of pride, of country, of being human. A ritual that reminds us that we as a species have what it takes to survive, to adapt, to compete on a physical level.
A clear front runner emerged in the women's marathon, Constantina Tomescu-Ditantina of Romania, and she went on to win the event. When she took off and separated from the pack I though she would crash and burn, how could she maintain a pace so much faster than the other competitors? She took a risk. She had employed this method before and fallen out. But she held on and emerged victorious.
I am not a big risk taker when it comes to running -- I like to get to my comfort zone and maintain my pace. I worry about falling out, coming up short, or even risking injury. I am not so much concerned with 'winning' as with improving on my times and becoming a stronger runner overall. I think it would serve me well to push those limits every once in while, to expand my idea of what I'm capable of -- to remind myself of just how adaptable we humans are.