The following is a transcript of a conversation that took place on Sunday evening, June 17, 2012.
BODY: Dude, you really worked me today.
ME: I know.
BODY: I’m pretty sore right now.
ME: I know. I feel you.
BODY: I’m probably still gonna be really sore tomorrow. Even more.
ME: Yeah, I kind of got that feeling too. You know what they say: Pain is weakness leaving the body.
BODY: Yah, easy for you to say.
ME: The good thing is that you get stronger from it instead of getting use to it.
ME: You did really well today.
BODY: Dude! You made me run 13.3 miles! What were you thinking?
ME: I was thinking, “I know we can do it, if we don’t give up.”
BODY: I wanted to give up.
ME: I know.
BODY: But you pushed me… pushed me to keep going.
ME: I know. That’s my job.
BODY: What? To push me around?
ME: [laughs] Is that what you think? I’m just here to push you around and torture you?
BODY: That’s what it seems like sometimes.
ME: How long have we been together?
BODY: Thirty-eight years.
ME: And how long have we been doing this running thing together?
BODY: Two months.
ME: And you still don’t know me yet…?
ME: Listen… this thing we’re doing, and I don’t just mean the running. I’m talking about this relationship that we have–
ME: Yeah, relationship. It’s you and me… in this together. Don’t you see that?
BODY: Not really. A relationship should be a like a two-way street. This feels like a one-way street with you calling the shots and me following orders. It should be a compromise.
ME: Like a give-and-take kind of thing?
BODY: Yeah, but not me always giving and you always taking.
ME: [laughs] I know that’s how you think it is, but it’s not that way at all.
ME: Yes, really. And besides, if we left it to an absolute compromise, do you honestly think we would get much done? You know there are days you don’t want to lace up those running shoes unless I “push” you.
BODY: Okay, maybe compromise isn’t the best word, but you see what I mean, right?
ME: I do. Now let me show you what I mean. This is a relationship… this is a two-way street–
BODY: [moans] I’m sorry. I just don’t see it. We always do it your way. You always seem to win when it comes to decisions.
ME: It’s not a matter of winning or losing between us. No one is right and no one is wrong. Our differences are healthy, and they help us to grow. Yeah, I push you… but you also inspire me.
BODY: Inspire you? How?
ME: [smiles] Do you not remember last Sunday’s run at all?
BODY: Yeah… the 10 mile one, right?
ME: Yes. The longest run before that was 7 miles which was the week before. Now when we started out last Sunday, I was aiming for 8 miles. I was content at making short increases on our long runs. I didn’t want to put more on you than what I thought you could handle. You know, take it slow.
BODY: Thanks. I appreciate that.
ME: You’re very welcome. I do look out for you.
ME: Anyways, 8 miles was my finishing mark. I was done at that point.
BODY: Then how did we end up at 10 miles?
ME: That my dear friend, is all because of you.
BODY: Because of me? How….
ME: When we hit 8 miles, I was done… but you weren’t. You kept going.
BODY: I…. But how….
ME: And when we hit 9 miles, I was still done… but you weren’t. You still kept going.
BODY: Why didn’t you stop me?
ME: Because I listened to you. Because I felt you. When we hit 8 miles, I heard you wanting 9. When we hit 9 miles, I felt you wanting 10. I knew you weren’t ready to stop, and I wasn’t going to stand in your way. I went 8 miles that day, but you… you went 10. That was all you! I was so proud of you. You exceeded my expectations.
ME: Are you crying?
BODY: No. Allergies.
ME: [smiles] And then today… small increases, remember? I would’ve been happy with 11 miles. I know half-marathon distance was possibly within reach, but again… small increases. Plus I know how hard it is for you to keep a slow pace, and I knew if we were going to make double digits again, the we would have to slow our pace. You like taking those long strides for speed.
BODY: Yeah, I’m kinda bad about that, huh?
ME: Not bad… just a little headstrong and a bit competitive which can be quite advantageous at the right times.
BODY: But you kept me in check… you kept me on the right track.
ME: For the most part. About halfway through, my thoughts started drifting and I noticed your strides getting a little longer.
BODY: I remember that. It felt good… I was feeling good. At times, it felt like I was jumping smoothly from one foot to the other. I felt really… really…
ME: …light on your feet?
BODY: Yeah! Really light! Like I was floating.
ME: I noticed that.
BODY: [smiles… blushes] You didn’t slow me back down to an easy pace.
ME: No, I didn’t.
BODY: Why not?
ME: I knew you needed that. I let you do your thing. I knew you could handle the pace. I knew you wanted it. I left you in control.
ME: Allergies again?
BODY: [clears throat] So, umm… how did you know I wanted it?
ME: The same way I knew you wanted to go past 11 miles when we reached it.
BODY: Me? Well, yeah, actually I did want more. I really wanted 13.1 miles… I wanted it bad! I could feel it was so close. I wanted to know that I could do it.
ME: [laughs] I know.
BODY: But how?
ME: “The Tingling.”
BODY: Huh? The what?
ME: The Tingling. You know that feeling you get that starts at your shoulders and runs down through your body? That tingling sensation?
BODY: Yeah… you can feel that?
ME: Oh yeah I can feel that! Are you kidding? That’s the best sensation I can feel that doesn’t originate from me.
BODY: What do you mean?
ME: That sensation, “The Tingling”, is all you. Listen, just because I’m the mind/spirit and you’re the body that doesn’t mean you are without your own inspiration and motivation. When your body gets that tingling sensation, it’s like a mild adrenaline rush. It’s an invigoration that surges through your body that comes from YOU because it’s something that YOU WANT to achieve or NEED to accomplish. It has very little to do with me. Again, I stopped at 11 miles… the last 2.3 miles were all you. I kept my thoughts to myself and just let you run.
BODY: You let me decide when to stop?
ME: Yes, I did. You controlled the run. You even controlled the pace. Do you see the relationship now? Our relationship? You know I can’t do this without you, right?
BODY: Well, it just seems like you’d get farther quicker without me holding you back.
ME: On the contrary… I wouldn’t get ANYWHERE without you.
ME: Listen… as the mind/spirit, I can only dream of goals I want us to achieve… I can only aspire for us to reach new levels… I can only imagine great things for us. But you… as the body… YOU are the one that makes those things happen. You are the PROOF that we can, in fact, achieve certain goals, reach new levels, and do great things that we once thought were impossible. You prove that we can do it… that we can do anything we set ourselves to. I can’t do this without you… I NEED you!
BODY: [stunned silence]
BODY: Are you crying now?
ME: [smiles] You know I am.
BODY: Listen, I’m sorry if–
ME: You don’t have to apologize. Like I said, our differences are healthy… they help us grow… they provide the right amount of friction that pushes us farther and sharpens our skills.
BODY: Iron sharpens iron, right?
ME: Yes, exactly. Just know that we’re a team, and we can only do this as a team. Otherwise, we won’t go very far or achieve much.
BODY: I do know that… now. Forgive me if I still put up a fight sometimes.
ME: [laughs] I will. I know it’s in your nature to do so.
BODY: [smiles] Thanks for believing in me.
ME: Thank you… for inspiring me.