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Real Courage

Posted by George Parker on

"Real courage is...when you know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."

That's a line from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Atticus is talking to his son, Jem, about his neighbor who passed away, but not before she weaned herself from a morphine addiction. Of course, the line foreshadows much more with the upcoming trial.

My oldest son and I are attending a performance of  To Kill a Mockingbird at the Fox Theater tonight in Atlanta. It will be a heavy show of complicated topics.

Yet, as you all know, I can't help relating things I read back to running.

"Real courage is seeing it through no matter what."

What a powerful line. Is this how you approach running, work, family, and life? I don't always, but I know that I should. That's a start.

"You know you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway."

You've heard this phrase all over Instagram in the vernacular. I like how Harper Lee phrases it. Maybe you won't win. Perhaps you don't even finish. But you train, recover, rest, and show up at the Starting Line anyway.

My favorite line has to be:

"Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing."

True, huh? I love running, but not always. Somedays, it's tedious and hurts. But the day I can't run anymore? Eventually, we all have a last day of running or a day when maybe we can't run anymore. If we approached running with the thought that one day we can't, perhaps we would appreciate each run more. Fortunately, that’s not today. 


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