Running Stories

“No guts no glory, no struggle no story” – Prince Brathwaite

I used to be really big into reading motivational quotes in high school, particularly running related ones.  My track coach always gave us a sheet of quotes as part of our welcome packet at the beginning of each season.  I loved helping to choose which quote would go on the back of our t-shirts each year even though some I liked, such as “We bust ours to kick yours”, were never deemed appropriate enough to use.

Yesterday due to yet another round of snow/sleet/ice mess schools were closed which meant winter track practice was canceled.  This gave me a chance to put on the DailyBurn workout of the day.

For some reason when the trainer, Prince, said the above quote it just really stuck with me.  I think because I’ve only ever heard the first portion of it, “No guts no glory”, and that in itself was never a quote that really motivated me.  It’s a bit ironic since my dad has said it several times throughout my life.  I don’t consider myself a gutsy person in the least and am not much of a risk taker.  I think that quote speaks more to those who are.

Instead it was the second part “No struggle no story” that really resonated with me.  I thought about how many blog posts I wrote in the past year about training for the Blue-Gray Half Marathon.  I also thought about how many blog posts I’ve read that were written by other runners.  While there were plenty of happy, accomplished posts, there were also ones that spoke of challenges, discouragement and sometimes defeat.  From awful-feeling runs to horrible weather, the struggles really did tell the whole story for each runner.

I reflected on the stories I told my running friends about regarding workouts I did by myself while training.  Quite often even the runs that ended on a good note had a struggle somewhere in them and that struggle was what made finishing the run even more worthwhile.  Many of the runs did not end happily other than to just simply have finished them.  If I went out and ran a flat 5 miles on a perfect weather day it wasn’t worth saying much about other than to simply say I had a good 5 mile run.  If that run was hilly though, or in scorching heat or freezing cold, then it became worth sharing.

Much like an action movie without a well developed plot, easy runs really have no story to them.  That’s not to say they don’t have a purpose or aren’t enjoyable.  I love the easy runs that result in runner’s high and get my creativity flowing along with my adrenaline.  I quite often come up with good blog ideas after a good easy run.

The hard runs though, the ones that push me mentally, making me curse the hills, curse the weather and sometimes even curse myself for being a runner, those runs are the ones that tell a story.  Those are the runs that I remember.  Those are the ones I share with others and eagerly listen to or read theirs as well.  The story-telling runs are the runs that unite the running community – those of us who physically run with one another and those of us who have never met, but who have bonded through our shared passion and with it, our shared stories.

About Tracy

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental and Indigenous Peoples advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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2 Responses to Running Stories

  1. runeatralph says:

    Great post! Very well said. I’ll admit, I do really like that “we bust ours to kick yours” quote.

  2. TracyNicole says:

    Thanks! Yes, I always argued that it never actually said anything inappropriate, but I guess because it was implied we couldn’t use it. I was also told I couldn’t put “I do LSD in the fall and speed in the spring” (because I ran cross country but was a sprinter/hurdler for track) on a shirt which I thought would’ve been a rather clever play on words.

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