I don't think anyone really knows who they are until they've had their back against the wall. Finding yourself nearly consumed by the jaws of defeat is where you find out what you're really about.
I'm not a baseball fan, but I will readily admit I was RIVETED by the San Francisco Giants postseason run to become World Series Champions last year. Seeing the Giants come back time and again when their backs were against the wall struck a chord with me and undoubtedly, countless others.
I found myself getting a bit choked up when the Giants finally completed their remarkable run. A few tears were shed when I heard Hunter Pence and a few of his teammates talk about chemistry, the x-factor, heart, and a little bit of magic helping them achieve something GIANT.
Running is markedly different from baseball. There's no 'team' per se in running. But, things have to click on race day in order for you to have a quality race. This involves doing the right training, nailing your nutrition/hydration plan, avoiding aggravations/injuries, getting your head straight, and a little bit of the x-factor.
It's this x-factor or 'magic' that can make the difference between a good race and a GIANT race. It's 'heart' that can help you rally from the deep valley of fatigue and exhaustion to take another step, to log another mile, and to fight your way to the finish line.
At my lowest point during my 50 mile race earlier this year, I was teetering on the precipice of defeat. My stomach was staging a revolt of epic proportions. My legs were seething with pain unlike anything I'd ever felt.
Getting my feet to simply land where I wanted them to was a monumental effort. My body was simply shutting down on me. I had never felt so small and vulnerable in my entire life.
But, I didn't give into these feelings of being vulnerable and diminutive. Whether it was my heart or a little pixie dust (or the Mountain Dew I knocked back), I managed to rally during the last 5 miles of the race and actually run all the way to the finish line.
On the road and in life, we all have times where we feel small and vulnerable. Anyone who says otherwise is lying. But, to push forward and continue on despite having your back against the wall is GIANT.
I run because to stop is to give into the fallacious notion that I'm small. I run because I am GIANT...and sometimes that's what's required.